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Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP To Gun For Glory From First and Second Row At Andalucia GP

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP To Gun For Glory From First and Second Row At Andalucia GP

At the end of a productive day, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi gave a stellar performance in Q2. The team-mates will start tomorrow’s Gran Premio de Andalucía from 2nd and 4th position on the grid.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi showed great speed at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto (Spain) in qualifying. Viñales looked like he had pole position in his grasp, but due to a fastest lap cancellation for exceeding track limits, he will start tomorrow’s race from 2nd place. Rossi made an improvement in the afternoon heat and rode a very strong second stint in Q2 to secure fourth place on the second row.

Viñales waited for most of the competition to leave pit lane before he stepped aboard his YZR-M1 and turned up the heat. His initial 1’37.217s put him solidly in P1 with a 0.314s advantage over the rest of the field. He shaved another 0.115s off his time in an effort to keep his position before making a quick stop.

With three and a half minutes left on the clock, the number-12 rider started his second run. The top spot had been taken over by fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo. Viñales put up a great fight, clocking a strong 1’36.907s on his final lap, but the time was cancelled because he had exceeded track limits in Turn 7. However, his 1’37.102s lap set on 3/7 was so fast that it still earned him second place on the grid, just 0.095s from pole.

Rossi was one of the first riders to hit the track in Q2, keen on using the 15-minute qualifying session to its full extent. His first flyer put him in seventh place. He improved his time but not his ranking on his next attempt and hurried back to the box with more than seven minutes remaining.

A little more than two minutes later The Doctor was back on his way. He was in tenth place, but knew all was still to play for. He set a 1’37.560s, moving him up to provisional sixth, but it was on his final lap that the Italian really showed how much the bike had improved in the hot afternoon session. He posted a 1’37.342s that put him in fourth place in the qualifying results, 0.335s from first.

Maverick Viñales

My best lap time got cancelled, but I’m happy anyway. The target was to do a 1’36s in qualifying, and wow! I felt so good on the bike and, honestly, I felt that I touched the green in Turn 7, but I wasn’t sure if it was with all the tyre or not, but you know, it was still a fantastic feeling. It was a shame that on the first lap on my second tyre I found Pol Espargaró on the ground and couldn’t make that lap. I think our potential was very strong today, but anyway I’m so happy and so pleased, because the bike is working so well. I can’t wait for tomorrow and be in the race.

Valentino Rossi

Today we continued to work on the bike. We have a different setting and I feel better. I’m not too bad in the morning, in the afternoon I suffer a little bit more, but it looks like it’s difficult for everybody. This afternoon was also hotter than before, and tomorrow will be another step: I think that tomorrow will be the hottest MotoGP race that I’ve ever seen. Now the situation starts to be really at the limit, so I think that riding 25 laps will be a great challenge for everybody. I will start from a good position, and my pace is also not so bad in the afternoon, but we still have to improve something, in some places we lose a bit. So we still have work to do, but it will be important to start towards the front.

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

We came close to pole, but honestly, we're very pleased with today’s results. Maverick is on the front row, which was his goal. He has been looking very comfortable with his bike so far this weekend and also his race pace is competitive, so this front-row start will be a key element for him to wrap this GP weekend up with a top result. Valentino has improved his pace in the hotter afternoon conditions, and it showed in qualifying. Starting from the second row will allow him to get in the midst of the action at the front. We’ve done a lot of work today. We're still weighing our options for what tyres we will use for tomorrow, there are several combinations that could work for us. Tomorrow we will make our final decision, but in any case, we're really looking forward to starting the race.