Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued the positive progress they made yesterday afternoon in all of today‘s MotoGP sessions at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit. The team-mates showed they are feeling comfortable on their YZR-M1s, qualifying for the race in second and fourth place respectively.
A solid run in this morning‘s FP3 saw both Viñales and Rossi secure a place in Q2, allowing them to fight for a spot on the front row.
Viñales copied his successful qualifying strategy from Qatar, starting the Q2 session well after the rest of the field had left pit lane. He took eighth place initially, but he was only getting warmed up. His next lap put him in fifth position, right behind his team-mate.
With about seven minutes left on the clock, the Spaniard arrived back at the box to put fresh tyres on his Yamaha for his final push. Viñales delivered when it really counted. His next flying lap, a strong 1‘38.458s, briefly put him in first position. However, as other riders completed their bids for pole he found himself in second place, 0.154s from the top. He had one final go but didn‘t improve. He will start tomorrow‘s race from the middle of the front row.
“If you told me on Friday this was going to happen, I would have said ‘No’. Yesterday, we were a bit lost, we struggled a lot, but we worked really hard. Every session we improved the bike. There’s still room for improvement, so we keep working. We need our work to pay off. We need to start well, be at the front in the first laps, and I’m going to try to ride aggressively in the first laps. Let’s see where that takes us. I’m going to try my best. I think it’s going to be a difficult race, because everyone is very close. We don’t know the race pace yet, but tomorrow we’re going to try to reduce the gap to the front even further.”
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