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The Movistar #yamaha #motogp Team made their first steps in the 2017 #motogp title challenge today at the Grand Prix of #qatar. Riders #maverickvinales and #valentinorossi didn't hold back in the first free practice session of the season at the Losail International Circuit, securing first and ninth position respectively.
Viñales fell right back into his winter testing groove and smoothly built up his pace as he circulated the track under the floodlights. With all 23 #motogp riders eager to start the 2017 World Championship, traffic offered an extra obstacle, but the young Spaniard was unfazed and stormed to the top of the standings with a 1'39;55.668s lap and more than 30 minutes remaining. Feeling confident with his progress, Viñales worked on the bike's electronics around the 5.4km circuit. His time set in the early stages was untouchable for the competition until the pace picked up in the final minutes of the session. However, he wasnt shy to respond and dropped a 1'54.739s for the provisional lead in the standings. Showing he meant business, he followed it up with a 1'54.316s lap to extend his lead after day one to +0.596s.
Despite the Losail track being quite dirty and windy at the start of the 45-minute practice session, teammate Rossi needed less than 10 minutes to breach into the top three, with a 1'56.695s. Fully focused on getting his #yzrm1 completely ready for the first race of the season, he worked on improving his feeling with the front while the pace of the field quickened. The Doctor used his expertise to further improve his times, shaving off tenths in various parts of the circuit. He ended the day with a 1'55.799s lap for sixth place, 1,483s from the leading time, but was pushed to ninth position as a few riders left their flying lap to the last minute. As Sunday's race will be held at 21:00 (GMT+3), there will be a second and third free practice session held tomorrow evening at 18:00 18:45 and 20:55 21:40 (GMT+3) to enable the riders to be fully prepared for the night #event.
Tech3 Duo Power to Notable Results on Day One Under the Floodlights!
The Monster #yamaha Tech3 pair ignited their rookie campaigns with two highly impressive performances on the opening day of action in #qatar. Young German rider #jonasfolger turned heads by storming to 4th in the solitary practice which he superbly concluded as the top independent rider after setting his rapid time in the final moments of the session. Whereas double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco surged to 8th after ending up only two-tenths of a second behind his teammate. Both riders fully intend to continue their positive momentum tomorrow with the second practice session kicking off at 18:00 local time.
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