Yamaha Racing's Valentino Rossi started the tenth MotoGP round eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1 after the four-week summer break.
The Doctor made good on his promise to hit the ground running, though wet track conditions for the opening free practice session in Brno meant he had to tread with care. Still he made a strong impression at the beginning of FP1 and kept dropping competitive laps throughout the session.
His best time of 2'05.712s, secured him fifth place, 0.511s from the front.
Rossi showed a consistent form in the afternoon.
After ten minutes of waiting for confirmation that the track was dry enough for the slick tyres, he decided to head out.
He continued his pace from this morning, which saw him quickly climb up the rankings with a 1'57.456s for provisional fourth place. He spent the remaining nine minutes testing various settings and, despite riding on a used medium rear tyre, ended the session with a 1'57.396s, in 14th place, 1.064s from the top.
“It was a difficult day, but I had some good feelings,” he said. “I‘m happy about FP1 in the wet, because this year we always suffered, but this morning I was strong and not so bad considering the pace. I was able to ride the bike quite well, so I had a good feeling and finished in fifth position, inside the Top-5 isn‘t so bad.”
‘The afternoon was a bit more difficult, because there were mixed conditions. I think it wasn‘t so bad, in the sense that I‘m behind, but I didn‘t put in the soft rear tyre at the end. I had a problem with one bike, so I had to stop and when I restarted with the other one I preferred to continue with the medium tyre. At the end my position is bad, but if I put in the soft tyre I think I can be more in front. It‘s just the first day. We have to work, especially the balance of the bike is not OK, but the feeling is quite good.”