Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales breezed through Q1 but was unable to get hold of the same feeling in Q2 and took 12th position.
Viñales had to come through Q1 but did so without much opposition from the other riders. His first flyer, a 1’56.109s, put him in first place. The youngster then returned to the pit box with slightly less than eight minutes remaining.
Two minutes later he returned out on track for his second run. He upped his level even further, setting four red sectors to clock a 1’55.538s, putting him more than 0.6s ahead of the field for the time being. The number 25 rider kept pushing but was unable to improve. Nevertheless, he safely came through Q1 with a 0.314s advantage.
A brief stop later, he headed back out for the second qualifying. His initial attempt, a 1’55.823s, put him in seventh place, but he dropped to tenth as the pace quickened. The Spaniard stuck to the same strategy as in Q1 and made his way back to pit lane early, with eight minutes remaining.
With six minutes on the clock he headed back out, eager to climb the rankings. However, he was unable to make a further improvement and ended Q2 in 12th place, 1.134s from the top.
“I tried to focus on the here and now and give the maximum. There’s still a lot of points up for grabs. We’re going to try to keep doing our best. I used the medium tyre in Q1, thinking the hard was going to be better for Q2, but finally it turned out to be the opposite, with the medium I felt much better. It didn’t leave me with any questions: the medium was much better, with the hard it was difficult to push. There’s still a lot of room for improvement. This weekend our setting isn’t perfect, so we need to keep working. I don’t think I will use the harder tyre tomorrow. I will see if I can make the soft last, and if it gives me something extra on the first laps. Let’s see tomorrow, I will try my best as always.”