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Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Take P18 and P21 In Dry Portuguese GP Qualifying

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Take P18 and P21 In Dry Portuguese GP Qualifying

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team’s Keminth Kubo and Manuel Gonzalez faced challenging qualifying sessions today. Having ridden in only full wet sessions so far this Grande Prémio de Portugal weekend, both the teammates found themselves riding with slicks during qualifying. Kubo was unlucky to suffer a crash in Q2 before being able to get a benchmark lap in, leaving him in P18. Gonzalez showed promise in the Q1 session, but ultimately finished in seventh place. He will start tomorrow’s race from P21.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team had high hopes for the Grande Prémio de Portugal Moto2 qualifying, but the sudden dry conditions after only full wet free practices made the two sessions more difficult. Keminth Kubo was unlucky to suffer a crash in Turn 2, ending his Q2 challenge early and leaving him with a P18 starting position. Gonzalez was improving throughout the Q1 session. His best lap put him in P21 on the grid.

Kubo did an amazing job in the morning, securing a brilliant sixth place in FP3 in tricky conditions. The impressive performance of the Thai rookie earned him a place in the Moto2 Q2 session. He was thrilled to battle for a top 18 starting position, but a crash in Turn 2 on his first hot lap signalled the end of his challenge. Unable to get back out on track again, he finished the session without setting a time and will start tomorrow’s race from P18.

Similar to his teammate, Gonzalez didn’t have any dry track time this weekend to prepare him for the fully dry Moto2 Q1. However, the Spanish talent is known to be able to quickly adapt his riding style. He gradually improved throughout the 15-minute shoot-out. He set a 1’46.600s on lap 6/8, which briefly moved him up to third place with more than three minutes remaining. Being in the top 4 was his goal, but as the pace quickened at the end the session, he was pushed down to seventh place, which translates to being P21 on the grid.

Gelete Nieto - Sports Director

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

We started the day in a very positive way: both riders did a good job. Manu had a good feeling with the new setting of the bike. Kubo as well, and he could also improve on yesterday’s lap time, finishing in 6th position and going directly to Q2 for the first time. Unfortunately, he crashed during the second lap of qualifying. It’s a pity because Kubo had the chance to start the race from a better position, but these things can happen. The important thing is that he's OK! We're not very happy about Manu’s Q1, because we know we could have done better. His rhythm was good, and he was improving in every sector but in different laps, so he couldn’t find a perfect lap time. But we know he has the pace of the riders who went on to join Q2, so we are confident for tomorrow.

Keminth Kubo: P18

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

FP3 went very well. I had a great feeling. I like wet conditions. At a certain point it was raining a lot, and we had to stop. But at the very end of the practice, I could improve my lap time and finished in sixth position. I was super happy. I could enter Q2 for the first time this year. Unfortunately, I had a bad crash at the beginning of the session. I’ve visited the hospital and luckily I’m OK now. I will recover tonight in order to be ready for tomorrow’s race.

Manuel Gonzalez: P21

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

We had another strange day! We changed a lot of things for FP3, and I was having a really good feeling with the bike. I had a small crash in Turn 4, but I was in first position when I crashed. It was a shame for the qualifying because I had to take part in Q1. I was going pretty fast also in Q1 that had some really fast riders. I tried to do my best, but a lot of things happened during the session. I didn’t really know how much time was remaining, so I didn’t realise that the last lap would be the last. I think I could have been in the top 14 today, considering my lap time. But I’m really looking forward tomorrow, because I feel really good with the bike and with the team. We are working very well, and if we have a bit of luck tomorrow, for sure we can achieve a good result!