Movistar Yamaha Score First and Second Row in Silverstone Qualifying
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi set a scorching pace in this afternoon's qualifying session at a sunny Silverstone Circuit to score second position on the grid for tomorrow's Octo British Grand Prix. Teammate Maverick Viñales also attacked the shoot-out at full speed and took fourth place.
Rossi headed out on track in the Q2 session in the middle of the 12-rider field, but he didn't let that spoil his rhythm. On his first flying lap he set a personal benchmark time of 2'01.219s for fifth place. Unable to better his time with his next attempt, he dropped down the order and held eighth position as he entered the pits with a little more than six minutes of Q2 remaining.
A quick minute later, the live timing was flashing red sectors for various riders, including the Doctor. The Italian was on an absolute flyer and set a superb 2'00.025s for second place, 0.084s from first. He had time for one more lap, but didn't improve, and will start tomorrow's Octo British Grand Prix from the middle of the front row.
Viñales followed his teammate out of pit lane at the start of the 15-minute shoot-out. He immediately put his Yamaha YZR-M1 inside the top-3 and followed it up with a 2'00.485s for second place on his second try.
The young Spaniard quickly made his way back to the Movistar Yamaha box for a set of fresh tyres. When he was back out on track with five minutes remaining, the riders' provisional ranking shuffled as the times dropped. Viñales set a personal best lap, a 2'00.341s, for fourth position, 0.400s from the front. As he was unable to make further progress on his last lap, he will start tomorrow's race from the second row of the grid.
Position: 2nd - Time: 2'00.025 - Laps: 7
"I always lose a bit in the final section, I have a bit too much spin. I think I had a big advantage up until that point. Marc was barely inside the 1'59.9s, so I lost a bit, but not a lot. I'm close to the pole position, unfortunately it was not enough, but I'm so happy to start from the front row, that's very important for the race. With the pace we are not fantastic, we're a bit in trouble. I hope we have the time to try to fix all of the last details and I hope to be competitive tomorrow and fight for the podium."
Position: 4th - Time: 2'00.341 - Laps: 7
"I feel OK. I think we did a good job, especially in FP4, I'm quite happy about that. For qualifying we modified the bike a little bit and I didn't feel that great, but anyway we know that we are quite strong here and tomorrow we are going to try to do our best. We didn't make one big improvement today, we made small ones. Tomorrow we have one more chance to work and try to improve."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Both sides of the garage did a good job today. For sure Vale would have liked to secure the pole position in front of the passionate British fans. He was very close, only missing out by 0.084s, but being able to start from second place, from the front row, is a really good result. Maverick will also be starting from a good position, from fourth place on the second row. He feels comfortable on the bike and he's happy about the job he was able to do today, though we think there is still some room for improvement. During FP4 we faced some difficulties with the pace and we need to understand the reason. It might be due to a change in track conditions following this morning's rain, or there might be another reason, so we will continue to work tonight, and tomorrow in the warm up, to prepare for the race."
Zarco to Bolt Forward from 8th Folger Fired up for Silverstone Battle
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco will begin the highly anticipated British Grand Prix from the third row of the grid. The rapid French rider stormed to the top of FP3 in the mixed conditions and his result of 7th in the combined standings put him through to Q2. He met the chequered flag in 8th and only 0.050 back from the second row and now he determinedly eyes up the battle tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will begin his fight from the head of the fourth row of the grid. The young German bounced back from an illness yesterday to finish this mornings FP3 session in 3rd, but 13th overall, which saw him contest in Q1. Here he powered to 2nd and passed through to Qualifying 2, where he gave his all before finishing with the 10th best time. The race will begin at 15:30 local time and both riders will be aiming to close the weekend with two top tier results.
Position: 8th - Time: 2'00.622 - Laps: 7
"Overall I am pleased with my starting position for the British Grand Prix. In FP3 we made a good step with the bike and compared to yesterday, I felt much better. To be honest, this morning I didn't expect to improve on my lap but I managed to do this which was very positive. Then in Free Practice 4, I ran a solid rhythm and the times were more than satisfying, but it is difficult to keep the pace for the entire race distance at this circuit. Therefore, I think that this will be the biggest challenge, but I will fight. Anyway, because FP3 went well, I felt confident to push in qualifying and I rode some good times. It's a shame that on the last lap I just missed out on the second row, which I think was certainly achievable. However to start from 8th is not a drama and it's actually positive, as I feel comfortable on the bike and I will push. Tomorrow, I aim to wake up well and then stay relaxed because this will be key for the afternoon."
Position: 10th - Time: 2'00.829 - Laps: 7
"I am really happy because we made a big improvement on the bike and I made a good step forward with myself. Yesterday was tough, but I felt much better today and we had a positive time in qualifying. We were able to try a different setting which made the Yamaha more stable on the exit and calmer overall. In addition, I was able to get out of Q1 which was very positive because it is never easy to do this. The team and I can be pleased as we did a great job but I think that we still have some room to improve, especially with regards to the front of the bike. We will analyse everything now, but for today, we went about things in the right way. Thanks to the team who worked really well and I'm sure that we can make another solid step tomorrow."