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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Show Competitive Pace in Mugello on Friday

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Show Competitive Pace in Mugello on Friday

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales successfully completed the first two free practice sessions at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello today. Though traffic on track spoiled their fastest laps in FP2, the pair ended the day in 4th and 8th place respectively in the combined session times.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales were quickly up to speed at the start of the Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley weekend. The duo made the most of the sunny Day-1 track time to get refamiliarised with the technically challenging and physically demanding Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. They secured the 4th and 8th fastest time respectively in the combined free practice results.

Quartararo didn‘t linger in the Tuscan sunshine this morning. He soon got into the groove and slotted into first place with a 1'47.566s, set on lap 6/18, making it an early Factory Yamaha 1-2. The Frenchman went on to improve the feeling with his medium rear tyre. His earlier red-hot time kept him in the top 3 for most of FP1, but he ultimately finished in 8th place, 0.973s off the fastest time.

El Diablo was all fired up and ready to make further improvements in FP2. He used most of the session to further fine-tune his bike‘s settings in preparation for the typical last-minute Friday afternoon shoot-out. Once he had a soft rear tyre fitted, he was on course to take over the top spot. However, heavy traffic on track spoiled his flying lap. On his second try he still managed to better his best morning lap by 1.194s, to take fourth place in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, with a 1‘46.372s, 0.225 from the top.

Viñales is known to be a big fan of the Mugello track, and it clearly showed in FP1. The Spaniard was immediately happy with the base setting of his YZR-M1 and soon took over the top spot, before shifting his attention to the race set-up. Top Gun kept on improving and set a 1‘46.593s on lap 19/20, to keep hold of first place with a 0.209s advantage over second.

In the afternoon, the number-12 rider focused on race tyre selection. He used the first half of the session to try a hard-hard option and later switched to a hard-medium, that moved him into the provisional top 5. Then with ten minutes remaining, it was time for action in the mini time attack and to change from medium-medium to medium-soft. Viñales was unlucky to hit traffic on track whilst setting red sectors, and he also had a small run off in Turn 9. He had time for two more attempts and wrapped up FP2 with a 1‘47,195s lap, that saw him in 17th position, 1.048s from first. However, his fastest morning time kept him in joint seventh place in the combined FP results.

Fabio Quartararo

"Honestly, I had a bad feeling in the morning with the rear tyre. But this afternoon, with the same compound, I made great laps with great consistency. My second run was really good. I was doing 1'47-low on five laps. Our pace is looking really good, and I'm feeling comfortable. We still have some little things to improve. Things like tweaking the electronics and my riding rather than the setting of the bike. Overall, I'm feeling good, and I think we have great potential at this track. I made a good lap in FP2, but I honestly don't know how, because there were so many riders cruising in sector 1, 3, and 4."

Maverick Viñales

"I felt good straight away in FP1. I just felt really good on the track. I was feeling on point both in the morning and in the afternoon. I think tomorrow we will make a big jump in terms of lap time, because today we didn't do a good time attack. It wasn't good at all, so for sure we can be faster. But, anyway, what's most important is our rhythm, and we are building up the confidence step by step, like in Le Mans, where I felt really good on the first laps of the race. I feel like I had the potential to win there, had it stayed dry. We need to keep going forwards."

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

"The end result of today doesn‘t actually tell the full story of what we have achieved at Mugello so far. Fabio and Maverick are both really fast here and were feeling quite comfortable with their bikes right from the start of FP1. In FP2, we already spent some time testing different tyre choices for Sunday and we have a good idea of which options we do and do not like. It's positive that the bike is working well, and we are already working on the fine-tuning to achieve a consistent pace for the race. It‘s a shame that both our riders hit traffic on track when they were on their fast laps. It was unfortunate timing, but it is clear that we have a competitive pace. Tomorrow we will focus on getting a top-10 position in FP3, and then we'll do some further preparations for the race in FP4."