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Second GP at Spielberg underway for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

For the second time in two weeks, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team faced mixed track conditions at Spielberg with sun, rain and hail all featuring. Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow ended the opening day of the AustrianGP 14th and 20th respectively.

The morning’s FP1 session got off to a steady start for Rossi, as he worked on gathering vital data for the weekend. At the end of the 45 mins, the Italian posted the 14th fastest time – 1min 24.335secs. A wet – but drying – track greeted Valentino in FP2, thanks to heavy rain ahead of the session, which meant that times from the morning could not be improved. After sitting just outside of the top-ten for a large amount of FP2, Rossi ended the session 16th and the day 14th.

Crutchlow continued to build on his experience aboard the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT machine throughout FP1. Setting a fastest lap of 1min 25.295secs, the Brit ended the session 20th. Cal opted to wait for a short while before heading out on track on FP2, but started to improve his lap times as the track started to dry. As with all riders, Crutchlow was unable to improve upon his FP1 time and ended the opening day of AustrianGP action 20th.

Tomorrow’s track action will commence at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) with Free Practice 3 for Rossi and Crutchlow, ahead of the two MotoGP Qualifying sessions at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi
14th (1’24.335)
This morning, in FP1, it wasn’t too bad because I was able to greatly improve the performance and lap time from the first weekend here. Also the position was okay too but, as always with a second GP at the same circuit, everyone is very strong. The track was fast this morning and we were able to work on our race pace. This afternoon the conditions in FP2 were very specific, as it rained a lot but it stayed very hot and the dry line appeared after only 20 minutes. We are not so bad on the full wet, but we suffer a lot with the feeling in mixed conditions and we don’t have enough traction. We hope that Sunday will be completely dry or wet, not a mix.

Cal Crutchlow
20th (1’25.295)
Last week we had an issue with rear grip in the race and we think we might have found the reason why, but it became our main focus today. It’s good that we understand it a bit more and it means we can continue our programme now, to hopefully find more speed in both wet and dry conditions. I feel confident that I can though. Obviously going from testing where you have all day to two 45-minute sessions is difficult, especially with this afternoon being wet. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and let’s see what we can achieve.