Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales went all out in this afternoon‘s Q2 session at the Spielberg circuit. Quartararo gave his utmost in the 15-minute shoot-out and secured third place on the first row of the grid. Viñales also impressed with his speed at the start of Q2, when he briefly held first place, but later struggled to put in a competitive bid for pole. He found some extra time in the final moments and will start tomorrow‘s race from ninth.
Quartararo was on the mark right from the word ’Go‘. Though he had waited for a while to let his fellow Q2 contestants go out ahead of him, the Frenchman soon made his presence known with a 1‘23.259s benchmark lap that was 0.643s faster than the rest of the field. He went on to improve it to a 1‘23.075s, before entering pit lane with seven minutes on the clock.
Having been pushed back to second whilst in the pits, El Diablo was keen to reclaim the number one spot and was quickly back on his way with a fresh set of tyres. It briefly looked like he would claim his sixth pole position of 2021 when he dropped a 1‘22.958s. It would have been a new All Time Lap Record at the Spielberg circuit, but it was later cancelled due to exceeding track limits in Turn 9. His 1‘23.075s set on lap 3/8 put the number-20 rider in third place in the results, 0.081s from first, allowing him to start from the front row for the ninth time out of ten races so far this season.
Viñales was following a similar strategy as his teammate and waited at the start of Q2 for most of his rivals to clear off before he stepped aboard his M1 to set a hot lap. His benchmark time looked promising. He posted a 1‘23.902 for provisional first place, but soon his teammate took over at the top of the standings. The Spaniard made a further time improvement on his next try, but he still dropped back to fifth place before he returned to the box with a little more than eight minutes remaining.
Top Gun headed back out on track with nearly five minutes still to go. He was eager to breach the 0.604s gap to first but wasn‘t able to reproduce the feeling he had on the start of the first run until his very last lap. He wrapped up the session with a 1‘23.508s for ninth place, 0.514s from pole, putting him on the third row of the starting grid for tomorrow‘s Styrian GP.