Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were flashing red sectors in the Q2 session today, pushing to the limit at the Losail International Circuit. They fought until the very end and secured 3rd and 5th place on the grid respectively.
Losail (Qatar), 3rd April 2021
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were on a mission in today’s Q2 session to secure the best possible starting positions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Doha. They put in solid performances and secured 3rd and 5th place on the grid respectively.

Similar to last week, both the Factory Yamaha teammates were the last riders to head out on track with the aim to exploit the empty track space. However, Viñales’ first run didn’t quite go to plan. Due to a lack of grip, he wasn’t able to climb any higher than provisional sixth place on his first lap.

The Spaniard immediately headed back into the pits with eight minutes remaining. Two and minutes later, he started his second run. This time he was right in his element and immediately set two consecutive fastest laps of the session. His 1'53.267s originally had him on pole with a 0.330s advantage. After the chequered flag had come out, he was pushed back to third, with a 0.161s gap to first, but he still hung on to a first-row start, obtaining his objective.

Quartararo was not playing around at the start of the 15-minute qualifying heat. He positioned his YZR-M1 in second place on his opening lap and wasn’t afraid to really be on the limit. There were red sectors flashing on the live timing everywhere. The Frenchman dug even deeper and set a 1’53.614s, for a provisional second place, before heading to the pit box for a fresh set of tyres.

With four minutes left on the clock, the number-20 rider headed back out. At the time he only had a 0.017s gap to bridge for pole, but he was unable to improve on his next lap. There was time for one more try though. Quartararo posted a 1’53.469s final lap, with a 0.363s gap to first. It earned him fifth place, in the middle of the second row.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

Today’s qualifying results are very close. The proceedings didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had planned. Maverick didn’t have a good feeling on the first run. The first tyres didn't provide him with the grip he was looking for, but he was able to get the maximum out of the second set of tyres. Due to the stronger wind today, we opted for a shorter gear ratio for Fabio. That worked well in FP4, but it meant it changed his braking references in Q2, and he didn't have time to adapt to that. Considering these circumstances, we are quite satisfied with our qualifying results. We are even more confident about the pace that we have been able to show in FP4. In the race, we need to make a good start and hit the front as early as possible, with the aim to achieve our target of getting on the podium.
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

The first run was very hard. I was sliding a lot and nearly crashed two or three times. I was a little bit disappointed, because I didn’t understand why. But as soon as I started my second run, I had amazing grip again, so then I understood that the grip level of the second tyre was much higher. I could profit from this and I was quite happy because I think it’s very important to be on the front row. Tomorrow we are going to push. I’m hoping for a perfect start and then we will try to get into a good rhythm. We’ll work a bit tonight to see where I can improve.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

I’m happy with second row. We made a good step with riding in FP4 today. But we also made a gearbox change and that changed my braking references quite a lot. That didn’t help for Q2, I was braking too early. But still, I am happy. I think we have great potential for tomorrow. I feel like I can fight for the win. We did only one run in FP4. I had a great pace, and in the race you always have a bit more.