Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi showed 100% commitment during today‘s FP3, FP4 and the qualifying sessions at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, but their efforts were not met by the desired results. They secured 10th and 11th place respectively on the grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premio de España.
Viñales finished the morning session outside the top-10 and had to take part in Q1. After two laps he put his head down and moved up to provisional third place, just outside the top-2, as he had towed a rival over the line with him. Aware that he was not riding alone, the Yamaha rider decided to go back to the pits. Upon his return, he was flashing red and orange sectors, posting a 1‘38.349s to promote to second place, which he held on to until the end of the session.
The Spaniard then only had a few minutes to get himself ready for Q2. As nearly all his soft tyres had been used in Q1, he started Q2 on a medium front and rear tyre. This tyre combination improved lap by lap, moving him up to seventh place by his third lap.
With seven minutes remaining the young fighter came back to the box to put in his final soft rear tyre. Heading out a short while later, there was just enough time for him to complete three more flying laps, and he didn’t hesitate to fully open the throttle. As the pace quickened, he clocked a 1‘38.281s, improving his time, but not his position. He was unable to move up the rankings in his next two attempts and qualified in 11th place, 0.628s from pole.
“It was very difficult, the bike was sliding on the rear. We‘re going to try everything and tomorrow we‘re going to take the maximum amount of points. We have to stay focused and keep working. For sure I expect to improve tomorrow, compared to today. I will try to make a good start and be there from the beginning and we‘ll see if it works. It will be difficult, but we‘re going to try”