Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were flashing red sectors in the Q2 session today, pushing to the limit at the Losail International Circuit. They fought until the very end and secured 3rd and 5th place on the grid respectively.
Similar to last week, both the Factory Yamaha teammates were the last riders to head out on track with the aim to exploit the empty track space. However, Viñales‘ first run didn‘t quite go to plan. Due to a lack of grip, he wasn‘t able to climb any higher than provisional sixth place on his first lap. Quartararo was not playing around at the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat. He positioned himself in second place on his opening lap and wasn‘t afraid to really be on the limit. There were red sectors flashing on the live timing everywhere. The Frenchman dug even deeper and set a 1‘53.614s, for a provisional second place, before heading to the pit box for a fresh set of tyres.
Vinales set two consecutive fastest laps of the session. His 1’53.267s originally had him on pole with a 0.330s advantage. After the chequered flag had come out, he was pushed back to third, with a 0.161s gap to first, but he still hung on to a first-row start, obtaining his objective. With four minutes left on the clock, the Quartararo headed back out. At the time he only had a 0.017s gap to bridge for pole, but he was unable to improve on his next lap. There was time for one more try though. Quartararo posted a 1‘53.469s final lap, with a 0.363s gap to first. It earned him fifth place, in the middle of the second row.
Maverick Vinales: ”The first run was very hard. I was sliding a lot and nearly crashed two or three times. I was a little bit disappointed, because I didn‘t understand why. But as soon as I started my second run, I had amazing grip again, so then I understood that the grip level of the second tyre was much higher. I could profit from this and I was quite happy because I think it‘s very important to be on the front row. Tomorrow we are going to push. I‘m hoping for a perfect start and then we will try to get into a good rhythm. We‘ll work a bit tonight to see where I can improve.”