Viñales and Rossi to Start Valencia GP from Second and Sixth Row

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It‘s was a close fight at the Ricardo Tormo track in Q2. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales pushed to the limit to take 6th on the grid for the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Valentino Rossi had to take part in Q1. He will start tomorrow‘s race from 16th place.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales was looking threatening in today‘s highly competitive Q2 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He was challenging for pole, but ultimately secured sixth place on the grid for today‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Valentino Rossi took part in the Q1 session but wasn‘t able to set the flying lap he intended. He will start today‘s race from 16th place.

Viñales was quick to leave the pit box at the start of Q2. His first hot lap briefly put him in the number one spot, but it wasn‘t to last. The 15-minute shoot-out would prove to be a fierce battle. Top Gun showed great form, setting two further fast laps.

The Spaniard was in fifth place when he headed back to the box with about nine minutes remaining. However, with the level of Q2 being so high, he had dropped back to ninth place when he rejoined the action on track. The number-12 rider was on it, though. He set personal bests in sectors 1, 2, and 3, and a fastest time in sector 4, to take back P1. But again he was soon pushed back by other charging riders.

The Yamaha man had time for two more tries but wasn‘t able to make strides. His 1‘30.645s, 0.454s from first, set on lap 6/8, earned him sixth place on the grid for tomorrow‘s race.

Having given the other ten riders in Q1 a head start, Rossi was able to set his own pace, following the caravan of other riders during the qualifying heat. He used the first flying lap to get into the groove to then clock the provisional sixth fastest time on his second attempt. However, it was set under a yellow flag, so he was moved back to last place.

With seven minutes on the clock, the Italian headed into pit lane for a quick stop before heading back out on track. He quickly reclaimed sixth place with a 1‘31.604s and was keen to kick up the pace a notch in the final one-and-a-half minute, but then rain spoiled his plans. With rain flags being waved around the Ricardo Tormo track, the Italian was unable to further improve his time. He ended the session in sixth place, 0.794s from first, and will start tomorrow‘s race from 16th on the grid.