Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi set a scorching pace in this afternoon’s qualifying session at a sunny Silverstone Circuit to score second position on the grid for tomorrow’s Octo British Grand Prix. Teammate Maverick Viñales also attacked the shoot-out at full speed and took fourth place.
Rossi headed out on track in the Q2 session in the middle of the 12-rider field, but he didn’t let that spoil his rhythm. On his first flying lap he set a personal benchmark time of 2’01.219s for fifth place. Unable to better his time with his next attempt, he dropped down the order and held eighth position as he entered the pits with a little more than six minutes of Q2 remaining.
A quick minute later, the live timing was flashing red sectors for various riders, including the Doctor. The Italian was on an absolute flyer and set a superb 2’00.025s for second place, 0.084s from first. He had time for one more lap, but didn’t improve, and will start tomorrow’s Octo British Grand Prix from the middle of the front row.
Viñales followed his teammate out of pit lane at the start of the 15-minute shoot-out. He immediately put his Yamaha YZR-M1 inside the top-3 and followed it up with a 2’00.485s for second place on his second try.
The young Spaniard quickly made his way back to the Movistar Yamaha box for a set of fresh tyres. When he was back out on track with five minutes remaining, the riders’ provisional ranking shuffled as the times dropped. Viñales set a personal best lap, a 2’00.341s, for fourth position, 0.400s from the front. As he was unable to make further progress on his last lap, he will start tomorrow’s race from the second row of the grid.
Position: 2nd – Time: 2’00.025 – Laps: 7
“I always lose a bit in the final section, I have a bit too much spin. I think I had a big advantage up until that point. Marc was barely inside the 1’59.9s, so I lost a bit, but not a lot. I’m close to the pole position, unfortunately it was not enough, but I’m so happy to start from the front row, that’s very important for the race. With the pace we are not fantastic, we’re a bit in trouble. I hope we have the time to try to fix all of the last details and I hope to be competitive tomorrow and fight for the podium.”
Position: 4th – Time: 2’00.341 – Laps: 7
“I feel OK. I think we did a good job, especially in FP4, I’m quite happy about that. For qualifying we modified the bike a little bit and I didn’t feel that great, but anyway we know that we are quite strong here and tomorrow we are going to try to do our best. We didn’t make one big improvement today, we made small ones. Tomorrow we have one more chance to work and try to improve.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“Both sides of the garage did a good job today. For sure Vale would have liked to secure the pole position in front of the passionate British fans. He was very close, only missing out by 0.084s, but being able to start from second place, from the front row, is a really good result. Maverick will also be starting from a good position, from fourth place on the second row. He feels comfortable on the bike and he’s happy about the job he was able to do today, though we think there is still some room for improvement. During FP4 we faced some difficulties with the pace and we need to understand the reason. It might be due to a change in track conditions following this morning’s rain, or there might be another reason, so we will continue to work tonight, and tomorrow in the warm up, to prepare for the race.”