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Movistar Yamaha Teammates Secure Second Row Start in Sepang

Movistar Yamaha Teammates Secure Second Row Start in Sepang

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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP enjoyed a full-on second day of MotoGP action at the Sepang International Circuit. Today in FP3 and FP4 they continued working on their YZR-M1s in dry conditions. After they both secured places in the Q2 session, the pair went on to set some seriously impressive lap times, under the 2'00s-mark, to secure fourth and fifth place respectively on the grid for tomorrow's Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Viñales approached the Q2 session with a different tactic than his teammate. Despite the fact that the lengthy track allows little time for multiple hot laps, he waited until most of the other riders had left pit lane before stepping aboard his Yamaha. Enjoying some clear space, his first attempt saw him settle into fifth position and he quickly followed this up with a provisional front row result, posting a 1'59.673s for second place.

The Spaniard made a quick pit stop with a little less than seven minutes remaining and was ready to put his head down again two minutes later, as the times dropped. He wasn't able to improve on his next attempt, but turned up the heat on his final flying lap and set a 1'59.538s to move up from fifth to third. However, a last-minute flurry of activity after the chequered flag was already out, saw him end the session in fifth place, 0.326s from the front. Tomorrow he will line up on the second row of the starting grid, right beside his teammate.

Keen-eyed spectators might have noticed a difference in the livery of the bikes today. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders were showing off the orange ENEOS branding on the lower cowling, to highlight the long-standing partnership between Yamaha and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy (the brand owner of ENEOS), that started in 2012.

Maverick Viñales

Position: 5th - Time: 1'59.538 - Laps: 7

"Today's qualifying was very close, all the riders' times were very close together. We are 0.3s from first and I'm happy. In FP3 I didn't feel so well, but then we made some changes on the bike in FP4 and I felt good again. I think that for tomorrow we still have some room for improvement and that's very important. I feel really good and I think I have a clear idea on which tyre I'll use for the race. I'm especially happy because there were many races where throughout the weekend we didn't make good steps forward, but here we made great progress. We have to be very intelligent about tomorrow's race, first of all about deciding on the tyres. We have to choose the best option for our bike. In the end, I think we have the package, I'm good on the brakes and feel strong there compared to the other riders, so let's see if we can get the job done tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"Today was quite full-on for the team, in order for us to make another step concerning the dry set-up of the bike. It wasn't easy because it was another hot day at the Sepang track, which makes riding three sessions in total a real challenge, but our riders came through. both riders were finally quite comfortable with their bikes and were able to push hard. Maverick wasn't quite as comfortable in this morning's session, but he and his crew could improve his feeling just in time for the qualifying. He'll also be on the second row of the grid, which is a good starting point. today we were able to compare almost all the tyre choices and we have a bit of an idea about which tyres both riders will use in tomorrow's race. We'll continue to work tonight to see if we can find a way to fine-tune the balance of the bikes and find some extra time in some parts of the track. Here the weather can play a big role in the outcome of the race, so we'll have to adapt to whatever situation comes our way."