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Soggy Sachsenring puts a Strain on Movistar Yamaha Qualifying

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales will start tomorrow’s GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland from the third and fourth row of the grid, having taken ninth and eleventh place respectively in today’s qualifying session.


Sachsenring, Germany – 1st July 2017


Sachsenring (Germany), 1st July 2017 – Grey skies and wet asphalt at the Sachsenring set the scene at the start of today‘s Q2 shoot-out that saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales secure ninth and eleventh place on the grid for tomorrow‘s GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

After a brilliant FP3 from Rossi, during which he advanced straight into Q2, the Italian was eager to continue making strides in the afternoon qualifying session. He was one of the first riders out of the pit box and left a competitive impression as his first try initially lifted him to fifth place. He was quick to better his time on his next flying lap, but it didn‘t improve his ranking.

Unable to significantly climb the ranks also on his next three attempts, the Doctor decided it was time to change tactics. He returned to the pit box with less than four minutes to go for a tyre swap, opting for the soft front / medium rear combination. A quick minute later he headed back out for his second run and his tyre choice proved to be the right decision for the drying track conditions. He had time for one lap and stepped up his pace on his final try. He set a 1’28.669s to claim ninth position on the grid, 1.367s from first.

Teammate Viñales displayed his confidence in today‘s dry morning free practice session but struggled to reproduce the results in the afternoon in the wet Q2 session. He went straight into action as soon as the green light signalled the start of the 15-minute time attack and slotted into fourth place. He improved his time but not his position on his next lap and was looking to keep the momentum going, but lost valuable seconds as he got involved in a small collision with Marc Marquez.

Despite the incident, the Yamaha rider tried to quickly get back into a good rhythm and, though he continued to struggle to get a feel for the wet conditions, he dug deep and climbed back up from twelfth to ninth, dipping under the 1’29 mark with a 1’28.823s. He had three more attempts at beating his personal best time, but was unable to improve and ended the day in 11th place, 1.521s from the front.


The day started off very positive with the FP3 session, when Vale and Maverick both had a good feeling. We already noticed in FP4 that the feeling in the wet was not as good as it was in the dry. Valentino started the qualifying session well, but was unable to really get the feeling he was looking for in the wet conditions. When the track started to dry towards the end, he made the right call to change tyres and climbed to ninth place. It was unfortunate there wasn‘t enough time for him to have another go, because his potential is higher than his grid position. The same goes for Maverick. The pace he showed in FP3 this morning clearly indicates he is one of the fastest men on track in dry conditions. We will work overnight to try to find a solution to give both of the riders a better feeling in the wet. We have to try to capitalise on the information we collected in today‘s practice sessions as much as possible.

1’28.669 / 9 LAPS

It‘s been a difficult weekend so far. It happened a lot of times this year: the feeling with the bike and especially with the tyres changed a lot from one track to the other. This makes it always a big surprise, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. In the dry I’m not so bad, it’s nothing fantastic, but my pace is not so far from the front, but unfortunately in the wet I suffer more. It looks like all the Yamahas, except Folger who isn’t so bad, suffer in the wet. We didn’t expect it, because last week in Assen I was competitive in the wet, but it looks like this time it’s more difficult, so we need to try some modification for tomorrow and try to be stronger.

1’28.823 / 10 LAPS

I‘m feeling quite confident on the dry, but unfortunately we couldn‘t improve the wet setting in the afternoon. I was feeling quite strong on the brakes and carrying corner speed, but I suffered from not having enough traction whilst accelerating out of the corner. If it‘s dry tomorrow, I hope for a good start and I will push myself to be on the limit on every lap and I will try to be on the podium, that will be very important. Either being on the podium or even trying to win: we have to stay open-minded. If it‘s wet tomorrow, we will continue to try to improve the bike and manage the situation as best we can.


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