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Fourth Row Start at Silverstone for Movistar Yamaha

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales had been in top form all weekend in the dry but couldn’t reproduce the feeling during the wet Q2 session. He set the 11th fastest time. Teammate Valentino Rossi took a strategy gamble in the 15-minute shoot-out, making a late pit stop, but it didn’t pay off. He will start the race tomorrow from 12th on the grid.

The wet FP4 came to a dramatic halt as various riders crashed due to aquaplaning. The safety conditions subsequently caused the qualifying session to be delayed, but once Q2 got underway Viñales and Rossi made sure they were ready.

Having seen how quick the weather conditions can change at the Silverstone Circuit, Viñales headed out of the box as quick as he could, eager to clock a time whilst it was dry. However, unable to get a good feeling on his soft rear tyre on the wet, he went straight for pit lane after his out lap.

With less than nine minutes remaining he returned to the track on two medium tyres. His fourth lap moved him up from 12th to 10th position, but he was pushed back as the pace picked up towards the end of the session. The Spaniard had three more goes at it, and his last try, a 2’12.514s, saw him finish in 11th place, 2.359s from first.

Rossi was quick to adapt to the wet track conditions and set an initial 2’14.839s lap for fifth place. He improved his time, but not his position, on his second and third attempt. He held eighth place as he headed back into pit lane with three and a half minutes to go.

He came out of the garage again as fast as he could but wasn’t able to finish his out lap before the chequered flag went out. His fastest lap, a 2’13.504s set on lap 4, put him in 12th position, 3.349s from the top.

Due to safety conditions, the British GP schedule has been amended for the Sunday. The MotoGP race will start at 11:30 local track time (GMT+1). The Warm Up is held from 09:00 – 09:20.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 11th – Time: 2’12.514 – Laps: 7

“I focused a lot in FP4 and my point of reference was improving my feeling on the bike. We improved it quite a lot compared to yesterday, and I think we made a step forward in terms of rhythm. I’m actually happy, but it’s true that on wet we still have to work a lot. The weather is the same for everyone, so we need to try to find a way to go fast. Luckily, we have some data and some things to work on.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 12th – Time: 2’13.504 – Laps: 6

“It’s a great shame and I’m very upset because we had a good strategy with the right tyres, but unfortunately we were a little bit tight with the time. We made a mistake in the box and lost too much time changing the tyre and I took the flag by two seconds, so I was also a little bit unlucky. It’s a pity because I did a 2’10.7s on the last lap, so that would’ve been P5. It would have been good to start from the second row, that was my target, but unfortunately I took the flag and the lap was cancelled. I have to start from 12th and it will be more difficult. For me, the grip on the asphalt in the wet is not so bad, the problem is that the track doesn’t drain enough, because it’s very new. If there is a lot of water, it stays on the top and causes aquaplaning. When it’s like that, it’s very dangerous.”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“Safety conditions always come first, but the delays and constantly changing weather and track conditions made our qualifying day take a turn for the worse. It was unlucky, because Maverick and also Vale had a good pace in the dry, but during Q2 the track was mostly wet. As we had very limited wet track time before qualifying, it was a trial-and-error session, which didn’t work out for us. Maverick didn’t feel comfortable, whilst Vale was on a good strategy, but ran out of time. We hope for a wet morning practice session tomorrow, so we can work on the issues and have our wet set-up ready for the rescheduled race, that now starts at 11:30 local track time, due to safety concerns.”

Zarco Reconquers Front Row in Silverstone – Syahrin Faces Comeback Race

Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco delivered a breathtaking Qualifying at the British Grand Prix and bravely ended up in the front row again. The fast Frenchman timed his fastest lap to perfection and secured himself the third spot for tomorrow’s 12th round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship season as the best Yamaha rider, although the conditions where far from ideal with mixed weather.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin faced some tricky track time in a rain affected Q1 as well. The Malaysian MotoGP class rookie concluded the important three Free Practice sessions in P19 overall and was progressing to 12th in FP4. Later on, he was fighting trough the difficult timed session this afternoon, which he finished in 23rd, highly motivated to make up as many positions as possible during the 20 laps race at 13.00 local time tomorrow.

Johann Zarco
Position: 3rd – Time: 2’10.439 – Laps: 7

“It was not easy because of the conditions. We had a rain tyre with almost dry conditions, but that’s what I love on the bike. I could really make a difference. The others started the session quite fast, so I had to push a lot to gain a good lap time. Then I cooled down the tyre, did a good lap time again and I was first. For the second last lap I slowed down again and Marc (Marquez) was there waiting with some others. I knew I had the advantage, so I didn’t want to help them to go faster. I waited and pushed on the last lap, which was really at the limit with the chequered flag. Finally, it was a good lap, I could improve and make it to the front row. But I was fighting with Marc and I think we lost a little bit of time there. I enjoy this first row. We don’t know the conditions tomorrow yet, but I want to use this opportunity to stay with the front until the end.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Position: 23rd – Time: 2’16.483 – Laps: 6

“We had very tricky conditions during this Qualifying because when the track was full wet, we couldn’t go out due to safety reasons. On the wet places, I felt really good, but where it was already dry, I had some movements on the bike, which were not easy to control. For me it was definitely difficult, especially because it was the first time having half-half conditions. But even if I have to start from the back now, I know that I need to get off the line well tomorrow and try to be ready after the Warm Up. The forecast says rain for Sunday, so I hope I can find a good feeling in the morning and then we’ll see what we can do in the race.”

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