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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Start Spanish GP Weekend with Top-5 Results

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Start Spanish GP Weekend with Top-5 Results

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales continued their 2021 MotoGP campaign today at the start of Round 4, the Spanish GP. They wrapped up the Friday in 2nd and 5th position respectively in the very close combined free practice results with less than a second covering the top-14 riders.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales had a full programme today at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto in preparation for Sunday‘s Gran Premio de España. The Factory Yamaha duo ended the Friday in 2nd and 5th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets and are in a positive mindset ahead of tomorrow‘s qualifying action.

Quartararo was greatly looking forward to starting this GP. Keen to put in the work required for a good race weekend, he hopped on his YZR-M1 in FP1 and put in 19 laps in total. He mostly focused on getting comfortable with his bike‘s settings. His best time, a 1‘38.344s set on lap 5, put him in fifth place, 0.331s from first.

The Frenchman stuck with the strategy from this morning in FP2. He mainly worked on preparing for Sunday‘s race in the afternoon and only switched to soft-soft tyres for the final stages of the session. He clocked a 1‘37.387s on lap 18/19, that earned him second place in the FP2 and the combined FP rankings, 0.178s off the fastest time. 

Viñales is a fan of the Jerez track and knows like no other that the cooler morning session would be best spent preparing a set-up that suits the hotter afternoon conditions. He set a 1'38.434s fastest time on lap 15/22, securing ninth place, 0.421s from the top.

As the temperatures rose in the afternoon, the times dropped considerably. The Spaniard quietly worked on his bike for most of the available track time, but with a little more than six minutes left on the clock he gave an extra push. Having opted for the medium-soft tyre combination, he set a 1‘37.726s on lap 20/20 that earned him fifth place in the F2 and combined session times, 0.517s to first.

Fabio Quartararo

"First of all, I'm feeling good on the bike, that's important. We have great pace, but we are struggling with used tyres, which is strange. Last year, when the conditions were much hotter, I felt zero drop on the rear tyre. Today, I felt quite a big drop in the morning and the afternoon, so we need to check what's happening. We already have a clear idea of what to try tomorrow, and I think it's going to work. I'm feeling great and have great confidence with the bike."

Maverick Viñales

"I don‘t know about my chances in the race yet, we will have to see on Sunday. It‘s very important to understand the level of the bike. We have tried some important things on track. I think it‘s good and that we have quite a fast consistent rhythm, and we can also be fast on one lap. Today, I didn‘t have an amazing feeling on the bike, but anyway we were there, in the top 5. It was quite a solid day. Basically, we feel good, and I think tomorrow we can make a good step forward."

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

"Overall, we‘ve had a quite positive first day in Jerez. The track temperatures were significantly lower today than they were last year in July, so that meant the settings had to be adjusted and also the riders had to adapt. In terms of speed, we are happy, but we have some clear points of improvement on our list for tomorrow. Fabio suffered from an unexpected tyre drop. We will try to improve this by adjusting the settings and we also count on the improvement of the tarmac as the weekend progresses. On Maverick's side, we were able to improve the set-up of his bike today, adjusting the area that was a weak point for him at the last GP. But we still have to work a bit more on the balance of the bike to improve cornering. We were able to take time in today's sessions to already explore some tyre options, which is always fruitful when preparing for a race. Most likely, we will work more on the race set-up in FP4, because we expect that all riders will use FP3 as a ’mini time-attack session‘ to get into the top 10, as per usual."