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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Press On In Fiery Friday FP Sessions

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Press On In Fiery Friday FP Sessions

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi followed up a busy FP1 at the Gran Premio de España with a productive FP2 session, securing 2nd and 13th place respectively in the combined timesheets.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had a full-on schedule for today, leaving no stone unturned in preparing for Sunday’s Gran Premio de España. They ended the first blistering hot day at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto in 2nd and 13th place respectively in the combined free practice results.

Viñales was quick to show a strong pace in FP1 and secured second place with a 1’37.374s best lap. The incredibly hot conditions in the afternoon made it difficult to improve on his morning time, so the Spaniard opted to focus on the race set-up instead in FP2. Whilst pushing hard to get his bike’s settings perfect for Sunday's red-hot battle for glory, he clocked a 1’38.596s on lap 20/21. It earned him 7th place in the FP2 timesheets, 0.471s off the fastest time. Yet his morning time was still faster and earned him 2nd position in the combined free practice timesheets, with a 0.024s-margin to first.

Rossi suffered from a lack of feeling with his rear tyre in the morning session after putting in a few laps. This resulted in him ranking 13th in the FP1 results and a busy afternoon for the Italian. In FP2 his main goal was to find more grip for Sunday’s race, which is set to take place during the hottest time of the day. The Doctor spent the entire 45 minutes fine-tuning his bike’s balance. His 1'39.222s fastest lap, set on lap 17/18, put him in 20th place, 1.097s from P1. However, his 1'38.118s from this morning kept him in 13th position in the combined times, 0.768s from the top.

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

It’s been a mixed first day of school for us. It’s great to be back in action, but unfortunately also some of our problems from previous years with tyre degradation seem to have returned, especially with Valentino. We already gathered a lot of data during the test on Wednesday, but it’s never enough, so today’s sessions, especially the hotter FP2 - held at a similar time as the race - play a significant role in our preparations for Sunday. On the bright side, Maverick is in his element and has been since the last part of the pre-season. The new bike with his riding style makes a good package, and together they result in a positive outcome. He has always been very motivated, but this year we can clearly see that extra fire in his eyes. He is eager to try anything and everything, and his high level is a direct result of it. Valentino suffered more from the heat. He seems to lose feeling with the tyres after a couple of laps, and accordingly he then also struggles with the balance of his bike. We will work hard this evening and overnight to find solutions for both issues to make him feel more comfortable during FP3, when we will be trying out for a place in Q2, a crucial part of the GP weekend.

Maverick Vinales

It was a good day. The feeling that I have on the bike, and also with the team, is amazing. This morning it was unbelievably good, the bike was working fantastic! I’m also happy, because this afternoon we worked so well. We found out many, mainly positive, things for the race. I’m actually very enthusiastic, because in the last run I did some good lap times, which were done towards the end of the tyre’s life, and I was still fast. For sure, we will still have to improve, but I feel ready. It’s very important to qualify at the front tomorrow. Judging by the time attacks from this morning, the qualifying times are going to be fast, but our main focus remains the race. We found a good pace today in both the morning and the afternoon conditions, but the problem is that the temperature is so high – and this is a very demanding track, you are working all the time – so it’s very tough. It’s also very hard on the bike and the tyres, so it will be an interesting race. We have to keep working hard to improve, especially in the hot conditions in tomorrow’s FP4.

Valentino Rossi

It was a difficult day. This morning was already not fantastic, but this afternoon it got worse. I'm struggling with the rear grip because, unfortunately, we have a tyre temperature problem, and in this heat we are suffering a lot. In the morning it's cooler, so that's a bit better. In the afternoon we lose a lot, so I'm not very fast. We need to work, and we need to improve the bike's balance to try to be more competitive. Sincerely, I don't know how we will improve this, but we have to find something, because tomorrow morning it will be very important to try to stay in the top 10 and go straight into Q2.