The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team barrelled their way into the Q2 session in this morning’s FP3 and followed it up with a hard fight in the afternoon for front row at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Ostrich. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were serious contenders for a top-3 finish until the times dropped at the end of the session, and they secured fourth and seventh place respectively.
The afternoon in Austria presented good weather conditions today for a high octane shoot-out at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg circuit. Viñales was the third to last rider to exit pit lane in a dry qualifying, waiting for the majority of the pack to go out. Despite a small mistake on his first hot lap, he set a 1’25.067s to take second in the provisional standings. With his next attempt he temporarily took over the top spot, but was pushed back to fourth place when the pace quickened. His fourth lap shot him back up to third before he entered the pits with more than six minutes remaining.
The youngster was quickly back on track to have another crack at challenging the competition. Now in fourth place again, he put his head down and jumped to third in the charts, with a 1’23.754s. He was unable to improve on his last lap, but his best time was fast enough to secure fourth place on the grid, on the second row, 0.519s from first.
“I feel OK and positive about today’s result, because I‘ve been struggling in prior qualifying sessions. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to start from the front, on the second row. There’s still a lot of work to do. We need to improve on acceleration in the first and second sector, because that‘s where we lose some time. We’re going to use the new fairing tomorrow in the race, because we think it‘s a little bit better and I look forward to trying something different that the team will prepare for tomorrow‘s warm up.”
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