Maverick Vinales denied Jakub Kornfeil a dream start to his home Grand Prix with a stunning late flyer in the second free practice session at Brno. Kornfeil, who has impressed this season despite little return in terms of points, finished second fastest behind Vinales who will be desperate to revive his championship challenge.
Few men will enter this weekend on a bigger high than Jonas Folger after his debut podium for Aspar. The German maintained the momentum first thing on Friday morning by setting the fastest time ahead of Miguel Oliveira and Sandro Cortese.
The afternoon was KTM dominated for the most part with Zulfahmi Khairuddin setting the fastest time of the day so far on his factory machine. The Malaysian held the advantage for almost half an hour before a frantic finish to the session which saw Danny Kent sneak in front by two hundredths of a second.
That gain was totally eclipsed by Vinales though who put half a second into the rest of the field with a scintillating lap in the final two minutes. His 2:09.480 lap wouldn’t be beaten but Kornfeil came closest to the excitement of the home support, closing to within a quarter of a second of the Avintia Blusens teenager.
Kent improved in the dying seconds to go under 2m10 but couldn’t improve on third while Khairuddin was forced to settle for fourth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli and Moto3’s newest winner Luis Salom. Louis Rossi took seventh with Jonas Folger’s failure to improve in the afternoon dropping him to eighth ahead of Cortese and Oliveira.
John McPhee, making another wildcard appearance for Racing Steps Foundation, showcased his credentials once again with nineteenth but Danny Webb will not join him on the grid after injuring himself at Indianapolis. His place at Mahindra has been taken by local youngster Miroslav Popov who impressed as an occasional wildcard last season.