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PETRONAS Yamaha SRT Hard at Work on AragonGP Opening Day

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT Hard at Work on AragonGP Opening Day

Valentino Rossi and Jake Dixon end Free Practice at warm MotorLand Aragon 19th and 22nd respectively.

The Gran Premio de Aragon got underway today for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, where track temperatures at MotorLand Aragon reached nearly 45C for Valentino Rossi and Jake Dixon, who ended the day 19th and 22nd.

A good start to FP1 saw Rossi inside of the top-ten early on, but a Turn 5 crash in the final 15 minutes of the session brought his morning to an early conclusion. His best time of 1min 50.299secs saw him end FP1 20th. After a steady start to the afternoon session, the Italian’s initial flying lap – 1min 48.649secs – at the end of FP2 placed him tenth. Unable to improve upon this, Valentino ended the session 18th and was 19th overall.

Dixon, who is in his second weekend in the premier class as stand-in for Franco Morbidelli, made good progress in the opening half of FP1 and consistently improved his time. The Brit ended the morning 22nd with a 1min 51.188secs lap. In the afternoon’s FP2 session, Jake opted to remain on the same tyres and didn’t do a time attack run. At the end of the second Free Practice session, Dixon was 22nd with a 1min 49.987secs lap.

Rossi and Dixon will be back out on track tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) for FP3, while the first of the two MotoGP Qualifying sessions will commence at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi

"Today was difficult, which we expected a little bit because this track isn’t the best for the bike, nor for me. For some reason, I have always struggled here at Aragon. We will still give our maximum here and we will try our best to work better with the rear tyre. We will try to modify the settings a little bit to try to be gentler with it. In the end it wasn’t too bad though and we were better in the afternoon. I’m not the fastest but I’m only one second from pole position and that put me 19th. Normally here the grip improves each day and we will also try to be competitive tomorrow."

Jake Dixon

"It’s really good to experience being in MotoGP for a second time. The speed of the bike wasn’t such a shock this time and it was really enjoyable. I struggled a bit in FP1 just to find my reference points, as it’s obviously different to when I rode here in Moto2. In FP2 we found a good direction with both the bike and me, plus the team are all working great. We stayed with the same medium hard tyres throughout the whole day and I felt really good. When everyone else was on the same tyre as us, we weren’t too far off. Tomorrow we’ll put the soft on to try a time attack and I think we could be quite close to the guys at the front. I really enjoy this track and when you have a good feeling somewhere, you tend to do alright. The overall result doesn’t reflect on what we’ve done today, as we didn’t use a new tyre, and I feel like we can do a really good job tomorrow."