Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were on a mission in today‘s Q2 session to secure the best possible starting positions for tomorrow‘s Grand Prix of Doha. They put in solid performances and secured 3rd and 5th place on the grid respectively.
Similar to last week, both the Factory Yamaha teammates were the last riders to head out on track with the aim to exploit the empty track space. However, Viñales‘ first run didn‘t quite go to plan. Due to a lack of grip, he wasn‘t able to climb any higher than provisional sixth place on his first lap.
The Spaniard immediately headed back into the pits with eight minutes remaining. Two and minutes later, he started his second run. This time he was right in his element and immediately set two consecutive fastest laps of the session. His 1'53.267s originally had him on pole with a 0.330s advantage. After the chequered flag had come out, he was pushed back to third, with a 0.161s gap to first, but he still hung on to a first-row start, obtaining his objective.
Quartararo was not playing around at the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat. He positioned his YZR-M1 in second place on his opening lap and wasn‘t afraid to really be on the limit. There were red sectors flashing on the live timing everywhere. The Frenchman dug even deeper and set a 1‘53.614s, for a provisional second place, before heading to the pit box for a fresh set of tyres.
With four minutes left on the clock, the number-20 rider headed back out. At the time he only had a 0.017s gap to bridge for pole, but he was unable to improve on his next lap. There was time for one more try though. Quartararo posted a 1‘53.469s final lap, with a 0.363s gap to first. It earned him fifth place, in the middle of the second row.