Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi came out fighting in today's Q1. Viñales scored first place and went on to take 5th on the grid in Q2. Rossi narrowly missed out on getting through to Q2 and will start tomorrow's race from P13.
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 4th May 2019
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had to push to the fullest on a tough second day at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto. After a difficult FP3 session, both Viñales and Rossi found themselves on the entry list for Q1. Viñales showed good speed in the first 15-minute shoot-out, securing first place, and went on to take fifth place in Q2. Rossi missed out on promoting to Q2 by just 0.072s and will start tomorrow’s race from 13th place.

Viñales was quick to leave pit lane for Q1 to get a hot lap in. After an encouraging FP4 session, where he set the second fastest time, he was still in the rhythm and clocked a 1’37.378s benchmark time that put him in provisional first position. He then immediately headed back to the pits.

With over eight minutes left, he was back out, but now in second place, as team-mate Rossi had taken over at the top. Having seen how close the times were whilst he was in pit lane, Viñales was pushing extra hard. The result was a 1’37.316s to reclaim first by 0.055s, but he wasn’t done yet. He next lap, a 1’37.164s, put him 0.135s clear of the rest of the riders and earned him a spot in Q2.

After the relatively easy pass through, the Spanish rider adopted a different strategy in Q2. He waited in the box for a while, to ensure himself of some clear space out on track. However, as he had only one soft rear tyre left, his first stint was done on the medium spec tyres, and he wasn’t able to challenge for pole.

He made a quick stop to have his last soft rear tyre fitted and made sure he had a little more than five minutes left to put it to good use. His first attempt very briefly put him in third place, but shortly after he was pushed down to fifth. He improved his time on his next attempt, to a 1’37.114s, 0.234s from first. That result kept him in fifth place on the grid for tomorrow’s race, in the middle of the second row.

Rossi also had his game face on in Q1. His second flying lap saw him take over at the top of the standings from Viñales, with a 1’37.371s. On a similar strategy as his team-mate, he headed back to pit lane immediately after.

With around five minutes to go the Doctor was back out, but he didn’t have the same feeling as he had in the first stint. Though he set two personal best sectors, he was unable to better his times on his next two laps due to traffic and was surpassed in his second position by a late charging rider in the final stages of the session. Rossi ended just 0.072s from a place in Q2 and will start tomorrow’s race from the 13th position on the grid, on the fifth row.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

"We tried some solutions in the morning practice session but found that not all of them worked, so we had to extend our work into FP4. As we made the progress necessary to get Maverick and Vale ready for Q1, we expected to finish a bit higher than this. Maverick did well in Q1 - he was setting the pace - but it came at a price, because it meant he only had one soft rear tyre left for Q2. Yet, he still managed to produce an even faster lap in Q2 to take fifth. Since coming through Q1 is never easy, starting from the middle of the second row is a decent result. Unfortunately, Vale missed out on getting through to Q2 by just 0.072s. It's a shame, because his pace was good enough to be inside the top-10. It will be a tough beginning to the race for him tomorrow, starting from the fifth row, but we know what he is capable of during a race. We are preparing a different setting tweak for tomorrow's warm-up. The tyre choice has been decided for the race, so now we just have to improve the turning of our bike a bit. Finally, I would like to congratulate Petronas Yamaha SRT on taking first and second on tomorrow’s grid."
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

"I’m satisfied for sure, because FP3 was very difficult for me. I didn’t find a good feeling and I wasn’t riding in a good way, so we changed a lot on the bike in FP4 and then I felt really good and had a good race pace, which is the most important. I’m a bit disappointed with myself about the qualifying, because I chose a bad strategy. I tried to follow Jorge but forgot that Morbidelli and Quartararo were right behind me. I want to say 'Congratulations' to Fabio because taking pole is not easy in MotoGP. Franco also did a great job, so they take first and second. P5 for me is really good, considering FP3 this morning. Tomorrow we’ll start from the second row. It will be very important to have a good start, because we have the rhythm and I’m braking really late, so I think for me overtaking here will be easier than at the other tracks. Let’s see if tomorrow I can be as competitive as I was in today’s FP4."
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

"First of all, congratulations to Quartararo and Franco for taking a 1-2 today. Yesterday I was in big trouble. I was very slow, but today we improved a lot. This morning, in FP3, I was quite strong. I was always P5, P6, P7, and I had a good feeling with the bike, but I was a bit unlucky. I just missed Q2 by a really small margin. After that, in Q1 on my second run I hit some traffic, so I wasn’t able to improve. For sure, starting from 13th place is very difficult, because from the fifth row it’s very tricky, but at the same time my pace is not so bad, I’ve improved. It’s true that there are a lot of fast riders, but we’re also not so bad. We have to try to work this night, like we did yesterday for today, to make another step, and after that we’ll see what happens tomorrow in the race."