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Tight GermanGP Qualifying for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Tight GermanGP Qualifying for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli to line up on the sixth row, in 16th and 18th respectively

It ultimately proved to be a difficult day for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders at Sachsenring, with Valentino Rossi ending GermanGP qualifying in 16th and Franco Morbidelli 18th after a Q1 crash.

Rossi was an unfortunate victim of the narrow margins in FP3 and joined his team-mate in Q1. His quickest lap in the morning session – 1min 20.961secs – was only three tenths shy of the top-ten, but put him 16th. Valentino had a steady start to qualifying, but made small improvements in the closing stages to end Q1 sixth with a best time of 1min 20.972secs. With yellow flags out on his final lap, the Italian was unable to improve further and will line up 16th on the grid.

Morbidelli had a good start to FP3, posting the fourth fastest lap, but was unlucky to miss out on a direct Q2 place by only 0.067secs at the end of the session. His best lap of 1min 20.749secs saw him end the session 12th. The Italian looked set to be in the fight for the Q2 places however, his Q1 session was curtailed by a Turn 13 crash on his final flying lap. Franco ended Q1 eighth – 1min 21.091secs – which will see him start tomorrow’s race from 18th.

Warm Up for Rossi and Morbidelli will get underway at 9.40am local time (3.40pm MYT) tomorrow, with lights out for the 30-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi

"Today was better because I was able to improve the pace, I felt more comfortable on the bike and, in the end, the time attack was not too bad. Finally I will start P16 because everyone is really strong and it’s very close between all the riders. You can see this because there are a lot of good names further down the grid. Now we need to understand what conditions will be tomorrow, so that we can make the right tyre choice because it is very open at the moment. It is going to be a long race, because the circuit is short, which makes things difficult. This is also a physically demanding track, so we know it will be hard."

Franco Morbidelli

"Today I was not the fastest on track and I was doing everything I could to get into Q2, but I needed to be on the limit to do it. Unfortunately I went over the limit in the last corner and crashed – I’m okay though. It’s a pity because it means I will start 18th, but I am happy with the feeling that I have with the bike and the speed we had in FP4. We know the race tomorrow will not be an easy one, but we will try to do our best to be as competitive as we can. There are some areas of the track where I am losing time, but I do feel great with the bike, so let’s see where we can end up. We know it will be difficult, but we will try."