Movistar Yamaha’s test at Misano appears to have garnered some progress as Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi topped the opening MotoGP free practice at Silverstone this morning.
The team have wheeled in WorldSBK electronics guru Michele Gadda to try and find a solution to their acceleration problems as they can’t change the lighter crank before next season, and the two were able to get down to some decent times in Northamptonshire.
Vinales laid down a 2’02.713 on the half hour using the medium rear Michelin before upping the pace to a 2’02.423 and then finished with a soft-tyre flourish, lapping at 2’02.073 with his last effort.
Rossi spent most of his session on a medium rear but also swapped to a soft for his last run to set a 2’02.262 also on his final lap which was enough to depose Ducati Andrea Dovizioso from second place.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow was in number one spot with five minutes left to run, sitting on a 2'02.401 using mediums all round but wasn't able to improve so slipped back to fourth place but is only three-tenths off the pace.
Jack Miller put the Pramac Ducati in fifth place with a 2'02.973 but is nearly a second behind Vinales while Jorge Lorenzo, the leading works Ducati, was one place behind the satellite man with a 2'03.115.
Tito Rabat found some pace late on to put his Avintia Ducati in seventh place while Andrea Iannone's early lap of 2'03.207 set on mediums was enough for him to grab eighth. Johann Zarcp bagged ninth place.
Reigning champion Marc Marquez slipped off at Brooklands after 10 minutes with another trademark front-end slide but couldn't get back on the pace, ending in tenth place and 1.6s slower than Vinales.
Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Aleix Espargaro - who suffered a breakdown early on - Taka Nakagaami and Danilo Petrucci completed the top 15.
Dani Pedrosa was well off the pace in 17th, one behind Alex Rins, while Scott Redding was 18th. Loris Baz had his first session on the KTM and finished 4.6s off the pace.