Movistar Yamaha Take 4th and 7th in Montmelo Time Attack
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi will start the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya from the second and third row tomorrow, having secured fourth and seventh place respectively in today's Q2 session.
Viñales waited for a while to leave pit lane, eager to find some clear space on track. When he found it he put it to good use, setting a 1'39.835s for second place on his very first hot lap. He improved his time on his next try, but not his placement, and was in fifth when he headed into the pits with seven minutes remaining.
A little more than a minute later he went back to business. He moved up to third position on his next attempt, with a 1'39.145s, but was pushed down to fourth as the pace quickened in the final stages. Knowing that every tenth of a second matters in MotoGP, he kept pushing hard but remained in fourth place, 0.465s from pole.
Rossi was quick to head out on track for the 15-minute shoot-out. He needed a little time to find riding space in the traffic on track but managed to find a gap. On his second flying lap he produced a 1'39.278s for provisional second place, before heading back to the box.
He had a 0.392s gap to first to close, and with nearly six minutes of the session left on the clock he was hankering to get to work. The Doctor was on a hot lap soon, but had to abort his mission as he was being followed by a rival. He improved his time to a 1'39.266s on his next try, but didn't better his ranking. He was in seventh position and only had time for one more go. Pushing hard, he rode a personal best in sector one, but a wobble made it impossible for him to set a faster lap time. He ended the day in seventh place, 0.586s from first.
Position: 4th - Time: 1'39.145 - Laps: 8
"For sure I expected a little bit more in the qualifying, but I'm actually happy about our work in FP4. I was working in race set-up and we were pretty close to the top. I think tomorrow we'll have to make a good start from the beginning. In the qualifying it was a little bit tricky with the front tyre, it was sliding a lot, and I couldn't make my best lap. Anyway, I'm happy, overall, and let's see tomorrow. We have to go with the best tyre and push."
Position: 7th - Time: 1'39.266 - Laps: 8
"I'm not so happy, because I had the potential to start from the second row. That was my target, to be there together with Maverick and Iannone. I did a good lap, I had a fresh tyre and I was a little bit faster than my earlier lap time, but unfortunately I made a mistake at turn 10, I braked too deep, not because of Marquez, but because I pushed too hard and unfortunately I couldn't stop. So after that I tried another lap and I was able to improve a little bit, but not enough for the second row. It's a shame, because our target was realistically our potential. We will see tomorrow, because it will be a hard race for everybody. Everyone will suffer with the front tyre, so it will be difficult, but I hope it will be difficult for everybody."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Maverick had good runs in all of today's sessions, in race configuration. Today's qualifying results put him on the second row and starting the race from fourth place is not bad. Vale ran into some complications during qualifying. He had a big moment, which cost him the second row. Starting from the third row can make the opening laps more difficult. We expect an unusual race, because the riders have to find a way to manage the tyre degradation. The warm up will be a crucial preparation, despite the difference in track conditions, to try some final set-up changes and make the final tyre decision for the race."
Zarco Seizes Third Row Start in Catalunya - Syahrin Confirms Strong Pace
Monster Yamaha Tech3's Johann Zarco initiated the second day at the Catalan Grand Prix with some very fast laps during FP3, where he snatched fifth position, just 0.220 seconds from the top of the ultra-close MotoGP field. During Qualifying this afternoon, the Frenchman fought hard and eventually ended up in eighth, launching his 24 laps attack tomorrow at 14.00 local time from the third row of the grid.
On the other side of the garage, Hafizh Syahrin impressed after finishing the third Free Practice session one second faster than on Friday morning and confirmed his great pace in FP4 again, where he clinched a fantastic P9. In Q1 the Malaysian rookie narrowly missed out on the top 2 and will kick off his seventh ever premier class race from his best ever starting position to date, after equaling P14 again.
Position: 8th - Time: 1'39.331 - Laps: 7
"I must be happy, because I gave all I could give on the bike today. The other riders are very fast and it's difficult to do better at the moment. We need to accept this position and the fact, that this is the level we have. A fast lap in Qualifying was quite hard, so maybe we can be more competitive regarding race pace for this weekend. So, I hope I feel good on the bike tomorrow and that I'm able to use my pace in order to get the best possible position."
Position: 14th - Time: 1'39.879 - Laps: 8
"Honestly, I'm, a bit disappointed by myself. Maybe I have been a bit too nervous, as I was quite strong from yesterday until FP4. With the hot condition I also lost a bit of rear grip in turn three and that's why I couldn't improve my lap time from this morning, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race, because I have a good pace. Nakagami is not very far from me and I aim to do a decent start tomorrow, plus try and see what will happen and which role I can play during the race."