PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi will start the final race of his career from the fourth row of the grid, after finishing Qualifying tenth, while MotoGP team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana from 13th.
Rossi gave his fans something to cheer about this morning, after posting a 1min 30.825secs lap in FP3 that saw him end the session tenth and secure a place in Q2. A mistake going into the first flying lap of Qualifying initially put him seventh, but he dropped to 11th after the first run. Three minutes before the end of the session, ‘Vale’ went seventh with a 1min 30.746secs lap but was denied the chance to improve further, due to two yellow flags on track. Holding the tenth fastest time at the end of Q2, Rossi will start his final race from the fourth row of the grid.
After completing a long-run at the beginning of FP3, Dovizioso was able to improve upon his best time set yesterday to 1min 31.377secs. Although only 0.848secs shy of the fastest rider, it put him 18th in FP3 and 19th overall. A strong performance in Q1 saw ‘Dovi’ challenge for a place in Q2 and record his best Qualifying result since making his MotoGP return. Completing his fastest lap in 1min 30.859secs, he ended the session third – just 0.071secs shy of a Q2 place – and will start tomorrow’s race from 13th.
Rossi and Dovizioso will be back out on track at 9.40am local time (4.40pm MYT) tomorrow for Warm Up, while the 27-lap MotoGP race – the final one in Rossi’s career and for the team – will bring the ValenciaGP and the 2021 season to a close at 2pm local time (9pm MYT).