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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo on second and third rows

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo on second and third rows

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo faced a second day of challenging riding in qualifying for Sunday’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon race, taking sixth and seventh respectively on the grid.  

Having fought hard to find a good pace, Rossi found himself having to compete in Q1. A slow start on a soft front and hard rear tyre initially put the nine-time World Champion into seventh position on his first hot lap. A slow lap followed in the hunt for clear track and then he put the pressure on, shooting to the top of the time sheet with a 1’49.172 second lap. A quick stop followed for the softer rear tyre option then he was back out with just over three minutes remaining and made a big jump, securing the top spot and a place in qualifying two with a 1’48.692.

With just a few minutes rest it was go time again as the second qualifying heat got underway. His first flying lap was a 1’48.614, improving on his time from the first session. The Doctor was unable to beat that until after a tyre change for a second medium rear: he was back in the last minutes and scored an impressive 1’48.226 to knock his teammate out of provisional fourth place. A flurry of hot laps by rivals in the last seconds then dropped him two places to sixth on the grid where he will start tomorrow’s race.

Rossi commented, “It was difficult yesterday and also today as we are suffering from a lack of grip. It’s difficult to ride the bike at the limit as after some laps it starts to slide a lot. We worked very hard with the team to try and improve some different settings. It looks like this afternoon we found some things so I will start from the second row, which is not so bad, it's quite good. Now we have to try to find some small improvement for the warm up and for the race so we can try to do the maximum tomorrow afternoon. The big question mark is the front tyre, we can use medium or hard. They are very similar so we have to see what the track temperature will be.”

Determined to make the best of a tough weekend, Lorenzo was straight out of the box as Q2 began, attacking the circuit at full speed. His first flying lap was a 1’48.332, the first recorded lap of the session until his rivals completed their first, dropping him to third provisionally. With his second effort he was unable to better the time, taking a 1’48.604 to hold third position. With just over seven minutes remaining he returned for fresh tyres before re-joining the track for a final push. The local hero put the hammer down and delivered a 1’48.246 to take provisional second on the grid until the final attack of the other front runners dropped him first to fourth, then three further places to seventh on the grid at the final flag.

Lorenzo said, "It's unbelievable how in just two weeks everything can change just because of the track. It’s true that this year we have even more difficulties to be competitive here. I’m very disappointed because today we got two wrong tyres for the rear. They were not good. One was defective in the morning and the second tyre in qualifying was also not good. I expected to improve four or five tenths but I couldn’t, improving by just one tenth. When you have more difficulties sometimes you get even more problems as happened today. I think our pace is not that bad compared to our grid position so if we can make a good start and be patient we can fight. The first two corners will be difficult, then little by little we can make some positions and fight for the podium."

MotoGP, 2014, GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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