Monster Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi both narrowly missed out on a top ten place during opening free practice for the Austrian MotoGP.
With rain a threat throughout the weekend, all riders made a late time attack, which ended with Vinales eleventh (+0.586s from KTM’s Pol Espargaro) and Rossi 13th (+0.686s) on the ultra-tight timesheets.
Coming off a frustrating 14th place at Brno last Sunday, Vinales languished towards the lower end of the results until his late push.
“The feeling here is pretty similar to what I had in Brno, we have the same problems,” revealed Vinales, who struggled badly for grip in the Czech race. “But anyway, this was just FP1, and we still have many laps to do on the track.
“Now it’s in our hands to improve. I’m going to give my all to collect the best data, and then we will see. Anyway, on track I felt really strong. Concerning my riding style, I felt that we’re on point, and this is the most important thing.
“When we find the right setting, I think we will be there fighting at the front.”
Like his team-mate, Rossi must now hope that the rain stays away if he is to break into the top ten during this afternoon’s FP2.
“It’s difficult because we weren’t able to stay in the top 10 this morning,” the Italian admitted. “As always there are many different riders and bikes that are very strong.
“We are close, we are not so far, but we have to work and improve different points. We will see, and we hope that this afternoon we can have another dry practice session.”
Vinales and Rossi were both in the bottom four in terms of top speed this morning,
The high-speed nature of the Red Bull Ring means a special, harder rear tire construction is in use this weekend.