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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Show Speed on Friday at Silverstone

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales made a strong start to this weekend’s British Grand Prix in the first free practice sessions. He wrapped up Day 1 as the third fastest rider overall. Valentino Rossi also needed little time to adjust to the Silverstone Circuit and showed he has the pace to contend at the top of the timesheets. His fastest time of the day took him up to eighth place in the combined free practice results.

Viñales had been looking forward to riding at the Silverstone Circuit for weeks, and the YZR-M1 was as good around it as he remembered. He was soon positioned at the top of the timesheets, more than a second clear of the rest of the field. The pace picked up, but the Yamaha rider responded every time and finished by setting two successive fastest laps, a 2’02.165s and a 2’02.073s, to end the session in first place, 0.189s ahead of his teammate in second place.

The Spaniard was quick to get into the flow of things again in the afternoon. He claimed the number one spot on his first flying lap. He was pushed down to third, but kept dropping 2’02s laps, showing his strong pace. He was on a late charge, eager to regain the honour of finishing in first place, but some chatter on the start-finish straight as he completed his penultimate lap prohibited him from fully exploiting the soft rear tyre. Nevertheless, he had still managed to set a new PB of the day, a 2’01.446s, to take third place, just 0.061s from first.

The wind and cold morning temperatures (15°C) also didn’t bother teammate Rossi. The Italian gradually upped his pace in FP1 and climbed up to the top-4 in the last 15 minutes of the session. As the competition heated slightly in the final stages, he put in a soft tyre, just like his teammate, and moved up from ninth in the rankings to second place, 0.189s behind Viñales.

The Doctor followed the same strategy in the afternoon. He waited for the final third of the session to make his mark. He rode a strong stint on the medium rear tyre and didn’t stop posting low 2’02s laps until he secured P1 with a 2’02.152s. He held this position until the last five minutes, when various riders put in a soft tyre to secure a place in the provisional combined FP top-10. Rossi also gave it a go on the softer option but was unable to improve his time, which secured him eighth position in the FP2 and combined free practice results, 0.767s from the top.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 3rd – Time: 2’01.446 – Laps: 33

“For sure, Silverstone is a circuit I really love to ride at. I love every corner of this track, so this helps a lot. The combination of this track and this bike helps too. We made good improvement. We could see today in the data that the bike was working better than it was in the previous races, and that’s really important. We’re going to try to at least fight for the win. So far we’re having a good weekend and we’re feeling positive. There’s still work to do, but we’re at a good point. Concerning the lines, riding style, and electronics, there’s still a little room for improvement. This will be very important for the next days.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 8th – Time: 2’02.156 – Laps: 28

“It looks like this track is better for the M1 and Yamaha, our bike works well. Maverick and I are quite fast. About the tyres, I tried the soft, I tried the medium, front and rear. It’s always a lot of work with the tyre decision, because you have to understand the situation well, but it looks like it didn’t change a lot compared to last year. The allocation is good. The new asphalt’s grip is a bit better than the old one. It’s also good because last year we had a lot of types of asphalt, there was a bit of confusion, but now there’s just one. The problem is the bumps, because they remained and there are quite a lot of them. That situation is difficult, but for the rest it’s good.”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“We started the weekend exactly as we intended: having both riders feature at the top of the timesheets right from the first session. The test in Misano last week helped us prepare a bit for this weekend, because we started it the way we ended things there. We know the YZR-M1 suits this track, but we were curious about the new asphalt. Despite the cooler weather conditions and the bumps on track, both riders are quite comfortable on their bikes. We’ve been able to compare multiple tyre options, but the combination for the race hasn’t been decided yet. We’ll continue the fine-tuning tomorrow and we’ll we keep an eye on things because changeable weather is forecast, so we’ll need to be able to adapt to whatever the weekend brings. It looks like the race will be wet, so we hope to have at least one fully wet practice session to prepare for Sunday.”

Intense Opening Day for Monster Yamaha Tech3 Duo in Silverstone

Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin started their work for the British Grand Prix today with two busy sessions at one of the longest tracks in the MotoGP calendar. With an impressive effort during the last minutes of the second session today, French star Zarco made it to the provisional Q2 rankings, after he improved on his fastest FP1 lap by 1.281 seconds in order to conclude Friday in seventh position.

In the meantime, Syahrin did a huge step in the course of his first day aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the British circuit. The Malaysian rookie lowered his lap time by incredible 2.155 seconds from this morning to the afternoon, while increasing his feeling at the windy and demanding venue. Syahrin now eagerly awaits FP3 tomorrow morning at 9.55 local time to make another step into the right direction.

Johann Zarco
Position: 7th – Time: 2’01.962 – Laps: 32

“We were lucky to have dry conditions today, so I’m happy because we were able to do some really good work in the course of the day. In the afternoon we improved a lot and on my last three laps I really got a great feeling and I’m satisfied that the bike was answering well. We ended up in seventh position, which is going to be useful in case of rain tomorrow to be straight in Q2. The track itself is difficult, the wind and the bumps make the bike moving a lot, but this pushes us to work even more on the bike. I think we can find further solutions for this, which will also help us a lot for the next races.”

Hafizh Syahrin
Position: 18th – Time: 2’03.293 – Laps: 33

“I felt very good today, but we still need to find a better feeling with the front. I know that Barcelona is already far from this weekend but I’m looking for the sensations I had there in order to stop the bike better. We are working really hard and improve step by step. Here we find quite many bumps, so it’s even harder to turn the bike when the front is jumping. We need to try to solve this situation. This track is not easy with the GP machine, I need to understand everything a bit better and then we see how it will work out tomorrow.”

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