The Automotodrom in Brno saw the resumption of MotoGP action on Friday, with the classic Czech track bringing slightly cooler temperatures but plenty of hot action with the entire field covered by 1.8 seconds in the morning session.
Joan Mir got the weekend off to a strong start, with impressive lap times set in FP1. He worked on settings and topped the session for a time before the chequered flag. He closed FP1 in second place with a 1’57.364, just +0.011 from the top. He was also the fastest rider in sectors 2 and 4, with a strong advantage in the former. In FP2, Mir was once again looking good, holding the top spot for the vast majority of the session. Just minutes from the end he was still sitting second, but he was bumped to sixth as the flag came out, with a best lap of 1’56.876.
Alex Rins, still recovering from the shoulder injury suffered in Jerez, also got underway in style as he used FP1 to get back into the swing of things. He was solidly hovering in the Top 10 for most of the session, dropping to 12th by the end but with a decent lap of 1’57.823. The afternoon saw the track become slippery with temperatures rising, making it harder to improve. Rins decided on a steady approach as pain in his shoulder began to creep in, and he closed the day in 13th place.
Joan Mir: 6th – 1’56.876 (+ 0.374)
“I’m very happy about today. I felt good with the bike straight away and I was competitive from the beginning of the day. We’re working on set-up quite a bit because the track is very slippery and also bumpy, so we need to work on electronics to make things easier and we also need to understand how best to conserve the tyres. So, we’ll continue working, and I hope I can keep this strong pace tomorrow – good qualifying will be crucial.”
Alex Rins: 13th – 1’57.354 (+ 0.852)
“This first day has gone well. I felt pretty good in both sessions, but in FP2 I started to feel a bit more pain from my shoulder. I didn’t want to stress it so I opted for shorter runs with good laps rather than trying to put together long runs or a race simulation, that way I could manage my strength and pain. Despite the shoulder, I’m feeling good with my bike and with the track. I didn’t find the grip too bad so let’s see what I can do tomorrow, I want to move directly into Q2 so I can do one less session and have a better chance of a good grid spot.”