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Movistar #yamaha MotoGP's #maverickvinales and #valentinorossi worked their way through a challenging second and third free practice session ahead of the Grand Prix of Qatar. The teammates finished in first and tenth place respectively in the combined times.
The Movistar #yamaha #motogp Team was impatient to hit the #losail International Circuit at the start of the FP2 session today. With the weather remaining clear after a rain shower earlier in the day, which slightly lessened grip on track, #maverickvinales and #valentinorossi lined up their YZR-M1s intending to perform once again, taking first and tenth place respectively in the combined free practice results.
Viñales kicked off the session showing his usual quick and consistent pace. A small slide down the track, ten minutes into the session, cost him a bit of time, but it didn't do any damage to his placement in the provisional rider rankings. Having posted 1'55.378s earlier, he held first place in the provisional standings for most of the session, until the pace quickened at the very end. The young Spaniard escaped any injuries and rushed back to the pit box to continue his practice schedule, but was unable to improve on his time and ended the session in fifth place, +0.293s from first.
The #yamaha debutant showed his mental strength in the second 45 minute session and continued work as if the incident had not taken place. At the end of FP3, he reclaimed his place at the top of the timesheets. Proving the earlier slip-up didnt affect him one bit, he set a fastest time of 1'54.834s on his very last lap. However, that was not enough to beat his own stunning 1'54.316s lap from the day before, which sees him sail through to Q2 on his first #yamaha race weekend.
Teammate Rossi needed a little more time in the late afternoon session to find his pace, as he continued testing various bike settings. Towards the end of FP2 his feeling with the bike improved and he decided it was time to put in a softer tyre. The Italian then made a late charge to the front of the standings, in order not to risk finishing outside the top10 and having to go through Q1 if it rained during FP3. He set the provisional second fastest time, but a last-minute flurry of activity saw him end up in sixth place, +0.329s from the front.
The Doctor's cunning strategy paid off just like he planned. His improvement in time in FP2 saw the nine-time World Champion take eighth place in the combined standings and with the temperatures dropping later in the evening, little improvement was made in FP3 until the final stages. Initially Rossi had planned a time attack at the end of the session, but an issue with a sensor caused him to make an extra pit stop and lost him time. Back out on track in the last minutes, he still pushed to the maximum, posting a fastest time of 1'55.790 for 13th place in the FP3 rankings, 0.956s behind the frontrunner, but it was his 1'55.414s from FP2 that earned him a spot in Saturday's Q2.
Tomorrow the Movistar #yamaha #motogp Team will again be out on track in the evening under the floodlights. The teammates will attend the FP4 session at 19:55 20:25 (GMT+3) and the Q2 session at 21:00 21:15 (GMT+3).
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