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Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Take First Top-10 Qualifying at Argentina GP

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Take First Top-10 Qualifying at Argentina GP

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team celebrated the start of track action at the Autódromo Internacional de Termas de Río Hondo by securing tenth place on the grid with Manuel Gonzalez. Keminth Kubo used the extended FP1 and FP2 to work on improving his pace.

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Manuel Gonzalez rode himself into the spotlight today at the Autódromo Internacional de Termas de Río Hondo. Despite being a Moto2 rookie and having never ridden at the Argentina venue before, he secured tenth place on the grid. It was a busy day of learning for teammate Keminth Kubo. He will start tomorrow‘s Grand Prix of Argentina from P29.

Gonzalez had predicted that he would adapt to the Termas track quickly. He put his smooth riding style to good use during the two extended Moto2 practice sessions in preparation for qualifying. The plan worked. In Q1 he produced a 1‘44.156s on lap 5/8 that put him second in the timesheets with four minutes remaining. The Spanish talent held the position and promoted to Q2. During the second session he impressed once again. Finding more than 0.3s on his previous best lap time, he set a 1‘43.761s that earned him tenth place on the starting grid.

Kubo used the two 50-minute free practice sessions to get familiar with the, also for him, completely new track. He systematically worked with his team to gradually improve his pace throughout the day. He dug deep in Q1 and bettered his pace lap by lap. Striving to dip under the 1‘45s mark, the Thai rider put his head down in the final stages of the 15-minute qualifying session and succeeded on his last attempt, posting a 1‘44.876s. He will start tomorrow‘s race from P29.

Gelete Nieto

Sports Director

"I‘m very happy about the work the team did today in the garage. We found the right way, but of course we need to improve the setting more to get the best performance out of the bike. We had a very positive result with Manu, who will start from P10 tomorrow on only his and our third race in Moto2. We are getting closer to the top riders. We changed a lot on Kubo‘s bike before we started riding here. Unfortunately, that change didn't work out as we had hoped. We will work a lot this evening to find new solutions that Kubo can try in Warm Up to help him gain more confidence for tomorrow's race."

Manuel Gonzalez - P10 (1'43.761)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"I‘m incredibly happy today! I started the practice without knowing the track. I learned it very fast. I felt good and fast during FP1. FP2 was a little bit difficult for me, we changed something in the bike, and I had to pass through Q1. But already on my first run in Q1, I felt really good riding with the top-3 riders. I knew I could shave off some tenths off my laptime. I tried to follow Lowes in Q2, and I achieved - for me - a great lap time. I‘ll start tomorrow from P10, and I was only 0.4s from pole. We have to be very positive about today's results!"

Keminth Kubo - P29 (1'44.876)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"I had a very difficult day, I‘m not happy with the result. We had some problems on the bike, but we are working on it. I need to learn this track that is new for me, and having only two FP sessions on Saturday before qualifying didn't help me at all, even though I know this is the same situation for everyone. I will have to work twice as hard, trying to get more confidence on the bike tomorrow."