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Movistar Yamaha Surge to the Top in Spanish Qualifying

Movistar Yamaha Surge to the Top in Spanish Qualifying

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The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team completely turned its fortunes around on the second day at the MotorLand Aragón circuit. Maverick Viñales delivered the goods exactly when it mattered, securing pole position for the second time in a row. Valentino Rossi gave a staggering performance and rode his bike to a brilliant third place, while still recovering from his leg injury.

Following a strong closing stage to FP4, where Viñales secured first place, the Spaniard was in a good mindset to fire his YZR-M1 over the Spanish track during the 15-minute shoot-out. He was the second to last man out of the gates in Q2 and found some clear space when he appeared on track. He only needed a little bit of time to get up to speed, setting the provisional second fastest time on his second try, before heading back to pit lane to get a fresh set of tyres, with more than six and a half minutes on the clock.

Once back on the track, he was in the zone. The youngster, who was riding with a new design helmet to celebrate his home GP this weekend, put his head down again and posted a 1'47.635s to take over the top spot from his teammate, with 1m40s still on the clock. He had time for one more attempt, but his previous lap remained unbeaten, earning him his fifth pole of the season so far, with a 0.100s-advantage over his closest rival.

Rossi rode a superb FP3 session, securing tenth place, to promote directly to Q2 just 23 days after breaking his right leg. In the qualifying session the Italian steadily build up speed over his two first tries, but was unable to breach into the low 1'48s just yet. He held tenth place as he headed to the box, with slightly more than seven minutes to go.

A little while later, the Doctor was back in action and immediately dropped an impressive 1'47.815s for provisional pole, but was soon pushed down the order as various riders completed their last attempt. Rossi ended the day in third position, just 0.180s behind his teammate in first place.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 1st - Time: 1'47.635 - Laps: 7

"The conditions were a little bit more difficult compared to this morning, to make a good lap, but anyway the team did a great job so I'm really happy. Every time we're doing better qualifications and we're more consistent on the bike. I hope we can keep these good feelings, especially before the race tomorrow. We have been improving a lot since the Misano test. The dry bike has good potential and rides well all the time, but we have to improve in the rain, so we're keeping that in mind, in order to be consistent. Honestly, it's incredible what Valentino did today, I have no words. He always delivers great results and it's positive that Valentino is also fast, because we can see things on the bike and compare the data for tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"After a difficult first day, today's results are superb for the entire team. The crew worked really hard, as we had little time to prepare ourselves for a dry Q2 session, and they got the job done. Maverick knew he had the pace and speed with his bike and his 1'47.635s pole position lap shows just how comfortable he is. He knew exactly what he had to do and delivered, securing his second pole in a row. The whole team also applauds Valentino for his incredible performance. We know from experience that he can make the impossible possible, and he proved it again today. Not only did he advance straight to Q2, while still recovering, but he also secured a brilliant third place after briefly holding the P1 spot. All-in-all it's been a very rewarding day for the team. We hope to keep this momentum going for tomorrow in the warm up as we prepare for the race. We still have some information missing, mainly on the tyre specification and durability. The warm up will be fundamental to get a better understanding before we make decisions for the race."


race report and images courtesy of Yamaha Racing