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Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky was a good day for Yamaha. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) plucked a 1:58.246 out of nowhere to claim top spot, while Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) sits in a confident fifth place ahead of qualifying.
Quartararo: "I'm close to 100% now"
After riding injured for the past four races, Quartararo enters the Czech GP at almost 100% fitness. The rookie sensation was having a quiet day in Brno before a late table-topping time in FP2 saw him oust Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) from P1, but that doesn’t tell the full picture from his day. Tyres have been a talking point so far this weekend and the 20-year-old struggled to find a compound he felt comfortable on.
“I’m close to 100% now so it’s not so much trouble,” confirmed Quartararo. “Today has been a positive day, we struggled a little bit today with the tyres, with all three compounds. Tomorrow we need to choose one to try and work on the good compound for the race.
“This morning we didn’t change the tyres, it was quite difficult. But this afternoon we tried the hard tyres and it was a little bit better and of course for the time attack with the soft. But we still need to know for the FP3, we need to work to get into Q2 but also think about the race simulation.”
MotoGP™ Friday recap: Quartararo fronts four-factory fight
Working towards the race is exactly what Viñales was focused on during Friday’s track action. And the Dutch GP winner was confident about his chances for the rest of the weekend as he and his team worked “really hard” for Sunday.
“Yeah honestly I’m really happy because today we worked really hard for the race. So tomorrow, if it rains, I think we have the work done,” reflected an upbeat Viñales. “We did it in a good way, the race pace is really good and I felt quite good with the bike, even if I made the lap time before the rest which sometimes is a little bit worse. But anyway for the race we worked during the last part of practice for the race distance, and it feels good. The bike is working well and we’ll see tomorrow.”
What happened to Rossi in FP2?
Likewise to Quartararo, Viñales is wary of tyre choice for the race: “For everyone it’s difficult, the tyre drops so much so we have to understand the tyre that drops less in 20 laps. It’s difficult but we will see what we can do.”
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) earned themselves top 10 spots in FP2. Morbidelli had a solid day to take P7 on the combined times, while Rossi was able to slam in a late personal best time to secure a vital top 10 place in ninth - ‘The Doctor’ recovering from a mechanical issue in FP2.
Can the Yamahas keep up their early Czech GP form on a potentially wet Saturday? Don’t miss a beat of the action as MotoGP™ gets back on track at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) with FP3.
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