Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales continued their form at the Chang International Circuit today, featuring at the top end of the timesheets ahead of the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. The teammates qualified in second and fourth place respectively and will be starting tomorrow's race from the first and second row.
Buriram (Thailand), 6th October 2018
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales delighted the Thai fans at the Chang International Circuit with their speed on the second day of the PTT Thailand Grand Prix. After two solid practice sessions the teammates put their head down again in qualifying to score second and fourth position on tomorrow’s starting grid.
Rossi left pit lane as one of the last riders, along with the majority of
the field. Due to the traffic on track his first lap put him in tenth place,
but he quickly climbed up to fifth on his next try. With eight minutes remaining
he returned to the box.
After a quick stop the Doctor resumed his time attack, and he was in the zone. He set a 1’30.099s to take provisional pole, but it wasn’t to last. The Italian was in second position when he had two more tries left. Pushing hard, he was especially strong in sector 3 and 4 but couldn’t further improve on his fastest time. He held on to second place on the grid for tomorrow’s race, just 0.011s from pole.
Viñales followed the opposite strategy from his
teammate. The Spaniard waited for
the light to turn green at the exit of pit lane to make sure he was the very
first rider out on track. His benchmark lap, a 1’30.871s, put him in third
place after all riders got in their first flyer.
As the pace picked up the youngster dropped back to sixth place on entering the pits. He changed to a second soft rear tyre but was unable to find the same confidence out on track. Luckily, the Spaniard was on a two-stop strategy and could hurry back to the team to switch to his second bike.
The pressure was on in the final three minutes of the session, however, that’s when the number 25 rider thrives. He set a fastest first sector and three personal best sectors on his very last attempt and clocked a 1’30.328s. The lap boosted him to fourth position, 0.240s from first.