Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales put up a strong challenge in Q2 today and took fourth place on the grid for tomorrow‘s myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Valentino Rossi was on the same strategy using both a medium and a soft rear tyre. He will be starting the race from tenth position.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales again was a main contender on the second day at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track, but missed out on a front-row start by just 0.008s, taking fourth place on the grid. Valentino Rossi made great progress in FP3 but couldn't emulate the good feeling in qualifying and will start tomorrow‘s race from tenth place.
Viñales showed just how keen he was on getting the show on the road at the start of Q2, waiting at the end of pit lane for the light to go green before heading out at the very first opportunity. With clear track in front of him, he immediately went top on his benchmark lap and confirmed his form on the next, but was later pushed back to second.
He quickly headed to the box with about nine minutes remaining and came back out with a soft rear tyre. He set personal best first sectors early on but dropped off in the latter stages of his third and fourth flying lap. Refusing to give in, the Spaniard made it work on his fifth try, bettering his time to a 1 minute 23.523 seconds but not his placement. Unable to improve on his last two laps, he ended the session in fourth place, 0.496 second from pole.
Rossi was on the same strategy as his team-mate, heading out on a medium-medium tyre spec for his first run. His initial attempt put him in fourth place, but he was moved to seventh as competitors completed their second hot lap. The Yamaha man responded with a 1 minute 23.899 seconds, which briefly put him in second place. However, as the pace quickened, he found himself in seventh again when he returned to pit lane with a little more than seven minutes on the clock.
Less than two minutes later the Italian was back on his way. He put his head down and dropped a 1 minute 23.817 seconds lap that put him in provisional sixth position, but the final minutes of the session proved to be decisive. Unable to better his time on his last two laps on the soft rear tyre around the abrasive Spielberg track, the Doctor finished Q2 in 10th place, 0.790 second from first.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi rode from tenth on the grid to a solid fourth position at the finish of the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Maverick Viñales lost some positions in the dicey opening lap but chased after his team-mate to take fifth.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi made good on his promise of great race pace today at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track, gaining six positions in the Austrian GP to take fourth place. Maverick Viñales lost some ground in the opening stages but recovered and showed solid pace to take fifth over the finish line.
Despite the first few corners getting a bit dicey at the start of the race, Rossi found a way to ride from P10 to P7. After crossing the line for the first time, he overtook his team-mate for sixth. The Italian continued to show great early pace, picking off Álex Rins that same lap. He followed it up by setting a provisional fastest lap of the race on lap 3 as he tried to close the gap to the front four riders, and he didn‘t need much time to do so.
With Jack Miller struggling to stay close to the top-3 riders, the Doctor was looking at a way to take over the fourth spot, but it was handed to him on lap 8 as Miller crashed out in Turn 9. The Italian was now spurred on by the thought of a possible podium result. However, he couldn‘t reel in Fabio Quartararo in third place as the two had a similar pace. With Viñales gradually approaching, the nine-time World Champion focused on maintaining his position, holding fourth over the finish line, 7.719 seconds from first.
Viñales had a good start from P4 to his 150th Grand Prix but was pushed back to sixth in the very crowded first couple of tight corners. After Rossi overtook him, the number 12-rider found himself behind Rins on the second lap. He was trying to work his way past his compatriot, keen on following his team-mate towards the front of the pack. On lap 6 he succeeded and was able to start his chase.
The Spaniard had a 2.1 seconds gap to close and started chipping away at it, riding mid to high 1 minute 24 seconds laps, all the while being stalked by Rins. However, with clear track in front of him, the Yamaha rider was in his element. Setting various personal best sectors, he upped his pace, gradually inching closer to Rossi. He spent the majority of the second half of the race 0.3 second behind his fellow Monster Yamaha rider, but wasn‘t quite close enough to make a move. He took the chequered flag in fifth place, 8.674 seconds from the front.
Today's fourth place sees Rossi take over fifth in the championship standings from Viñales again, with one point between them. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third in the team classification.
Viñales and Rossi will now enjoy one week off before they travel to the Silverstone Circuit for the GoPro British Grand Prix, held from 23rd-25th August.
“We already predicted that the start would be fundamental for us today, because overtaking here is quite difficult. The race results really depended on where Vale and Maverick were positioned after the first lap. Valentino had a very good start and his determined work on race set-up this weekend paid off, especially in the early stages, allowing him to gain six places to take fourth. Maverick got the short end of the stick in the busy opening lap. He recovered well to fifth but lost some valuable time, which is a shame because he had the potential to fight for the podium. One important aspect is that we are 12 seconds faster than last year. To have three Yamahas in the top 5 shows that we're consistently making progress. We will try to make a further step at the next Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.”
“Fourth place is a good result after a quite good weekend. On paper we should have suffered more in Spielberg, but already on Friday morning we were more competitive here than we were in the past. The race was good because at the beginning I was able to recover some positions, coming from tenth on the grid. Unfortunately, the guys in front of me were a bit faster. Anyway, fourth place is good. Maverick and Rins were also recovering momentum, but I was able to stay in front of them, so it was a good race.”
“I made a good start, but in Turn 3 I got in a scrap with Jack Miller and we ran a bit wide and that opened the door for many riders. We used a completely different set-up compared to other races, trying to reduce wheelspin, but it worked out differently than we thought because the track had changed so much compared to yesterday. I don‘t think it was the best set-up, but we chose it thinking we could maybe solve some problems. The consumption of the tyre was very high, so I destroyed the tyre very quickly. Anyway, I‘m pleased with fifth position, because we improved a lot compared to last year and we will keep working and trying to find a way to go faster. This weekend was just a trial run. In Silverstone I don‘t want to pay too much attention to what happened in Brno and Austria. It‘s a track I really like, and I will go for it 100%.”