Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi went all out during today‘s qualifying session at MotorLand Aragón circuit.
Alcañiz (Spain) – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi fought hard today in a tense qualifying session ahead of tomorrow‘s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón. The teammates have displayed an impressive pace all weekend so far and didn‘t fail to deliver during the 15 minute qualifying heat.
Lorenzo was the second rider to clock a time this afternoon, putting down a 1‘47.080 to set the early pace at the front. He briefly held provisional pole before being pushed back one place. On a two-stop strategy, he was back in the pits to switch bikes with nine minutes of the session remaining and returned to the track a minute later.
Our rivals‘ bikes are probably a bit more explosive than the Yamaha and especially this track is usually better for them.
He went on to improve his time but not his ranking with a 1‘46.743 and immediately returned to the box to swap bikes for a second time, with three minutes left to go.
When he was back out on track a minute later he had just enough time for a final time attack and didn‘t hesitate to put the hammed down. He dropped another 1‘46s lap and even rode a fastest fourth sector of the day, but remained in second place, 0.108s from pole, on the first row of the grid.
Teammate Valentino Rossi pushed to the limit during qualifying. The nine-time World Champion took a little while to get underway at the start of the session, allowing most of the traffic to leave before him. He entered a relatively empty track and was quick to fire off a 1‘48.039 for sixth before moving up one place with a 1‘47.652.
Rossi then returned to the pits with a little less than seven minutes on the clock for fresh rubber and was back out again with four and a half minutes remaining. Having dropped to seventh position he was determined to better his position and had two more chances to strive for a top position. He waited to the last minute and, dropping a final time of 1‘47.492 to take sixth on the grid, finished 0.857s from the front.
Jorge Lorenzo: "When I looked at my times I was very happy, because it‘s always difficult to fight for the pole position. Our rivals‘ bikes are probably a bit more explosive than the Yamaha and especially this track is usually better for them. To be able to be in the 1‘46.7 is unbelievable, we improved our old record here by more than a second, so I‘m very proud about that and happy with the work we‘ve done throughout the weekend and this particular lap. We need to improve the last details of the bike this afternoon for tomorrow, but in general I like it a lot how it behaves all around the track, so the team did a great job with the setting."
Valentino Rossi: "Today was a bit more difficult, especially in the afternoon, the morning was not so bad. My pace was also quite good, but with a higher temperature I suffered a lot with the tyres, because after some laps I slid too much and wasn‘t able to find the right rhythm, so we have to work and try to improve the balance so we can enter the corner with better braking. During tomorrow‘s warm up we will try to improve the setup and also the pace. My rivals are very fast, so this makes everything a bit more difficult but we will try."