Due to looming clouds and a persistent threat of rain, Yamaha's Maverick Vinales had to make every dry minute of Friday's free practice sessions count, ahead of this weekend's NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
Viñales was fast to find his rhythm in the quite cool conditions, taking 2nd position in the combined times at the end of the day.
In the morning Viñales calmly prepared for Sunday's race, steadily upping his pace. He consistently posted lap times within the 1'25s, only to turn up the heat a notch on his last run in the final mini time attack. He set a 1'24.752s for fourth place, 0.121s from the front, making sure of a provisional spot in the top-10 in case of rain in the afternoon and Saturday morning.
The young gun again displayed his patience before pouncing at the right moment in the afternoon session.
A wet spot in turn 3 made it impossible for the riders to improve their time, despite the rest of the track being dry. Having seen this from his pit box, Viñales bided his time until, with 25 minutes of the available time left, the sun came out and the track was ready for action.
The Spaniard was quickly on the pace and continued to work hard, concluding the session with a 1‘24.280s lap for second place, 0.234s from first.
“We are really pleased, because we're starting with a good feeling again,” he said. “Today we did a really good job, I was feeling quite good on the bike. Especially after the Brno test we improved the set-up a lot. For tomorrow, I think it will be very important to work further on the electronics and also on the acceleration, which is really crucial here.”