Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales saved his best effort for last in today’s 15-minute Q2 shoot-out to secure third place on the starting grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Viñales showed he’s feeling competitive in the dry during FP4, which he ended in first place. Following this ego-boost, he was eager in Q2 to get a hot lap in but soon realised the first tyre wasn’t working for him. He placed fourth on his opening lap but dropped to eighth place as other riders completed their initial flying laps.
After two tries the Spaniard hurried back to the box for a fresh tyre and with a little more than five minutes left on the clock headed out again, determined to show his speed. On his next attempt he moved up to fifth place, but as the pace quickened towards the end of the session he fell back to seventh. However, the youngster had one more trick up his sleeve and produced a 1’31.950s lap by riding three personal best sectors on S2, S3 and S4. This put him in third place, on the front row of the grid, 0.321s from first.
“It’s nice to be back and have the chance to start the race from the front row. I think we began the weekend really well, so we have a good rhythm for tomorrow and the bike is working well. We need to make some adjustments in a few areas, but I’m really happy, honestly. The work we’ve done since the Misano test is helping, I feel better with the bike. I think my lap time today could have been a little bit faster, because on the first tyre I didn’t feel so great, it was very slippery. This gave me less confidence for the second tyre, but I’m actually pleased. I did my best lap on the third try and we still have some room for improvement for tomorrow. I haven’t decided on a race tyre yet, let’s see tomorrow. The soft or the medium, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m fast on both, so that’s something pretty important. Another thing is that the team is working good and I actually feel really grateful because we got the feeling back again. I can push on the bike and they are understanding my feelings, and that’s great.”
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