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Tight Times in Qualifying at Aragon for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Tight Times in Qualifying at Aragon for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi and Jake Dixon to start the AragonGP from 21st and 22nd respectively.

It proved to be a day where riders were separated by the finest of margins at MotorLand Aragon, where PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Valentino Rossi ended qualifying for the Gran Premio de Aragon in 21st, while Jake Dixon will start his second MotoGP race one place behind in 22nd.

Rossi spent the first part of FP3 on the medium tyres, before completing his flying laps in the closing stages of the session. The Italian held a top-ten place momentarily, but ultimately his 1min 47.551secs lap saw him end FP3 15th. The start of Q1 saw Valentino sit as high as fourth on the timing screens, before falling two places at the end of his first run. Although he was able to improve his time to 1min 47.863secs, the ultra competitive session made this the 11th fastest time – which translates to 21st on the grid.

Also opting to wait until late on in FP3 to do his time attack, Dixon immediately improved upon his time from yesterday by over 1.5secs to set a 1min 48.422secs lap. Unable to improve this further, he ended FP3 22nd. The Brit had a strong start to Qualifying, posting a time that momentarily placed him as high as sixth. In his last flying lap of Q1 Jake posted a 1min 48.146secs lap time, which will see him start tomorrow’s race from 22nd – having ended Q1 12th.

Rossi and Dixon will return to the track at 9.40am local time (3.40pm MYT) for Warm Up, with the Gran Premio de Aragon coming to a close with the 23-lap MotoGP race at 2pm local time (8pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi

"It is incredible how close all the riders are here at Aragon. Today I was better than yesterday with the bike and I improved my pace, which was not too bad. The time attack this morning was quite good because I was 0.6seconds off pole position, but I was in 15th place. My pace was also quite good in FP4, but in Q1 I was not able to make the best lap. I was not able to use my full potential because I was always in the wrong place, I had a lot of traffic and I know that we could have been better. The position on the grid is bad but we need to understand which tyres to use, because the choice is very open at the moment, and what pace we could have in the race tomorrow."

Jake Dixon

"Everything is coming a lot easier this weekend and the gap is a lot smaller, we were only 0.8 seconds off the top. Overall it’s really good, I’m happy and I’m massively enjoying the big bike. It’s a huge learning experience every time I go out. I didn't do a time attack yesterday, as I did all of them today, and maybe it would have been nice to have done one so I had a reference today, but still really enjoyed Qualifying. It’s been a positive weekend so far and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. I’m hoping to feel good with the bike, have a good race and try to get into a battle for as long as I can."