Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales showed an encouraging pace on a perfectly sunny first day at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

He completed 39 laps overall in the first two free practice sessions to find a good set-up for his YZR-M1 ahead of Sunday’s Tribul Mastercard GP S.Marino e Riviera di Rimini. The Spaniard finished the day in second place after pushing hard in a hot ’mini shoot-out‘ at the end of FP2.

Viñales is the sole representative of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team this weekend. With Valentino Rossi recovering from injury, the Italian’s side of the garage was decked out with ’get well soon‘ messages and had his two bikes on display.

Viñales, however, shouldered the responsibility with confidence. The 22-year-old made a good start this morning, though suffering from a slight lack of grip, and was quick to find a solid speed around the Misano circuit. He used the 45 minutes of the first free practice to find a good base set-up and took eighth place with a 1’34.592s best lap, 1.036s from first.

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The Factory Yamaha rider continued to chip off tenths in various sectors of the track in the afternoon, as he fine-tuned his bike’s setting. Feeling comfortable, he completed a few long runs on used tyres before it was time to join the rest of the MotoGP riders in a provisional ’time-attack‘, as they all aimed for a place inside the top-10 of the combined timesheets. Eager to show his speed, Viñales made a solid improvement over the two sessions when he took more than a second off his morning time. He set a 1’33.236s lap at the end of the FP2 and finished the day in second place in the combined standings, missing out on first position by just 0.005s.