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Movistar Yamaha Begin Action in Barcelona

After a damp morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales continued their race day preparations in a sunny afternoon session. They set the 9th and 16th fastest time respectively in the combined timesheets.

GRAND PRIX OF CATALUNYA
Montmeló, Spain – 9th June 2017

FREE PRACTICE

 

Montmelò (Spain), 9th June 2017 – Just five days after the race at the Mugello Circuit, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales were back on the asphalt today for the first free practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Rossi was one of the few riders who took the risk of heading out on the damp track at the start of FP1. He completed a number of laps to get familiarised with the new layout at turn 14-15, until the circuit slowly started to dry. He went out on slicks later in the session just to get a feel for the changing conditions and posted a best time of 1‘48.863s for 17th place on his final attempt.

Temperatures rose to a balmy 26 degrees, as the Doctor returned to work in the afternoon. Completing a thorough set-up evaluation during his 17 laps of the Barcelona circuit, Rossi concluded the session in ninth position, both in the FP2 results and in the combined times, with a firm plan for tomorrow‘s opening practice.

The Catalan Grand Prix started with a waiting game for Viñales, who sat out most of the session as the track dried. Once the damp patches had disappeared, the home boy quickly stepped aboard his YZR-M1 and made his six laps in total count to secure sixth place, with a 1‘46.824s best lap.

The changing conditions as the day progressed saw the Spaniard needing a couple of stints before finding a good base setting in FP2 to work on throughout the remainder of the weekend. Though his afternoon outing was primarily spent on a search for grip, he set a 1‘45.810s lap towards the end of the session. As all riders had quickened their pace compared to this morning, Viñales took 16th position in today‘s timesheets.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

The damp conditions in this morning‘s free practice session were a little disappointing because we lost some valuable testing time, considering that we didn‘t come here to test two weeks ago, as opposed to our rivals. The last part of the track has been modified compared to last year, but it’s not safer nor does it increase the level of MotoGP action and in general the condition of the track has also degraded. Anyway, we weren‘t expecting to face the difficulties that we experienced in FP2 with Maverick, but we are confident that we will fix it for tomorrow. Overall, Valentino is quite satisfied with the set-up, apart from the agility of the bike, especially in the last session. Tonight we will work to find further solutions which we will put to the test in FP3.

VALENTINO ROSSI
1’45.118 (FP2) / 15 + 17 LAPS

For us it was a problem, because we didn‘t come here for the test. This means we need all the minutes of the practice sessions because we have a lot of work to do, but in the end the only real practice was this afternoon. Sincerely, this afternoon was nothing fantastic, but anyway my pace with the race tyre at the beginning was not so bad and we made some small modifications. There are a lot of riders with a good pace. At the end, whilst riding on the soft tyre, I thought I could do better, arrive in a better position and also improve the setting of the bike, but at the end I‘m just 10th*. I expected to do better, but it‘s also true that I‘m not far behind. It will be a very tight fight, especially tomorrow the main target is to try to stay inside the top10, that will be very important. We need to work because we need to improve and after we need to try the tyres.

MAVERICK VIÑALES
1’45.810 (FP2) / 6 + 17 LAPS

This morning I was feeling OK, the bike was working good. We went out on soft tyres and the bike was behaving really well. We did three or four laps that were OK and I wasn‘t far from the top, but it wasn‘t the same in the afternoon and I don‘t know why. We usually have a very stable bike, but it wasn‘t working well. Every time I went on the track, on a new tyre or a used one, I was sliding a lot and couldn‘t do anything about it, it was something very strange, it‘s difficult to say anything about it. Concerning the new layout, you have to take the right line. The left-right is something all the tracks have, slow corners. For sure the 2016 version was a much nicer layout, but for the circuit it needs to be like this so it‘s better for everyone.