MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Confident Start to the COTA Weekend for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi kicked off the Grand Prix of The Americas showing good form. Making the most of the perfect riding conditions in today‘s two free practice sessions, the teammates both aimed for a top-10 finish, in case of rain tomorrow, and fulfilled their goal securing third and fourth place respectively in the combined free practice times.

Viñales used FP1 to reproduce his strong form at COTA from last year. Though the forceful thrust of the MotoGP bikes made the dust fly everywhere in the first free practice session, the 23-year-old was quick to show a competitive pace. He worked diligently on his bike‘s settings throughout the morning and put his head down in the final stages. He earned third place in the FP1 results, with a 2’06.257s best time and a 0.727s margin to the top.

Feeling encouraged by his strong start in FP1, the Spaniard gave another strong performance during the second 45-minute session. Having bettered his bike, he soon dropped a 2‘07s lap and went on to secure third place in the final minute, setting a 2‘04.863s lap, 0.264s from the front.

Rossi stuck to his plan to get a top-10 time in FP1. He showed a good pace in the morning and got into a solid rhythm. The Italian steadily dropped his times and frequently posted provisional top-3 laps. He ultimately slotted into second with a 2‘05.926s lap, directly ahead of his teammate, and held on to this position with a 0.396s margin to first place.

The nine-time World Champion also had a productive session in the afternoon. Once again pushing hard, he worked on fine-tuning his bike‘s balance, the tyres and the electronics. Finding himself in eighth place, with six minutes to spare, Rossi headed back out to put the hammer down. He set a 2’04.958s on his penultimate lap to ultimately take fourth place, 0.359s from first.

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates‘ FP2 results earned them the third and fourth place respectively in the combined times, ahead of tomorrow’s sessions.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

“It was a pretty good first day for us here. COTA has quite a unique character and with the tricky conditions of this morning, Maverick and Valentino were given a bit of a challenge. However, both riders felt comfortable on their bikes right from the start of FP1 – even if the conditions of the track were pretty bad – and rode fast times. They clearly showed that they have good pace and speed. In the afternoon, we tried to improve the bikes’ set-up, especially focusing on creating better bump absorption, which is critical, and we also tried to improve rear grip. We were also able to try two of the three tyre options, but most of all it was important to finish within the top-10. The weather forecast for tomorrow doesn‘t look good, but even if it rains, thanks to today‘s results we will automatically promote to Q2.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

3rd / 2’04.863 / 16 LAPS

“FP2 went quite well and I‘m quite happy over all, even considering we didn‘t try the soft at the end because in the beginning I didn‘t feel good on the soft on the first laps. I still think we could have had good potential on the soft. So, I think we still have a margin to improve. We started better than we did on the previous two tracks. I hope we can go faster and have a bit more stable bike for tomorrow.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

4th / 2’04.958 / 17 LAPS

“The second session has been positive again because I was fourth and pretty fast. We worked on the race pace because with the medium tyres there’s a bit less grip, so we still have some work to do, but the feeling is positive. The track was a bit better than this morning. Let’s see what the weather is tomorrow, although the forecast says rain.”