Vinales takes home pole, Oliveira crashes to second row, Marquez impresses with 11th place

 In Moto3, News

It was another roasting day at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, as the riders prepared for race number six of the World Championship season. In Moto3, Maverick Viñales took the best time of the day, heading the grid for tomorrow’s contest. Despite crashing late on, Miguel Oliveira placed on the second row in fifth place, whilst Álex Márquez and Álex Rins, were eleventh and sixteenth, respectively.

In the morning practice, Viñales was already the standout with a final lap of 1’52.494 that was unreachable for his rivals. The closest to him was seven tenths behind. Rins, Oliveira and Márquez took big steps forward to take the sixth, eight and tenth fastest times, respectively.

When afternoon qualifying came around, temperatures were reaching 30ºC – 50ºC on track- and Viñales was in red-hot form. The Repsol rider made continual improvement and clocked a strong lap halfway through. Five minutes from the end, he went out again on new tyres to make the pole position a definitive one, recording a one-off lap of 1’52.160. He was 0.597 quicker than Miguel Oliveira, who took fifth despite a late crash in the final minute of the session.

Improving upon his morning times, Álex Márquez earned eleventh on the grid with a time of 1’53.140, less than a second off pole. Álex Rins will start from row six, with his best time of 1’53.478 putting him in sixteenth.

Miguel Oliveira
FP3 – 1:53.376, 17 laps, 80 km.
QP – 1:52.757, 15 laps, 71 km.
“This has been a positive day. We can be satisfied with a second row, as the straight at Montmeló is very long and we have the time to gain places. We went out this morning looking to improve on yesterday’s performance, although we didn’t get the times that we were looking to achieve. Later on we got closer to the frontrunners, although I realise that I am finding it tough to get quick laps on my own. Despite not having the pace that I want, I am calm about the race. I had a crash at the end, but I am unhurt”.

Álex Rins
FP3 – 1:53.376, 16 laps, 76 km.
QP – 1:53.478, 16 laps, 76 km.
“We have taken a big step forward from yesterday’s sessions, and I must thank the team for doing a great job to make that possible. I am satisfied with having ridden my fast lap on my own, leading a group. That gives me reason to believe that we will be able to drop our times a little more. Tomorrow’s race will be contested in a group and will be very fast. It is important to get a good start and, after that, we will see how the rest of the laps develop”.

Álex Márquez
FP3 – 1:53.596, 16 laps, 76 km.
QP – 1:53.140, 16 laps, 76 km.
“We went out on used tyres in the morning in order to prepare for tomorrow’s race. We didn’t have a great pace going, but in the end we improved the feel of the bike. We got better in the afternoon, although my fastest time of the day was recorded on my final lap and on new tyres. Eleventh is not a bad position. As regards my injury, I am feeling pretty good and hope that tomorrow we can make the most of the warmup to improve things for my second World Championship appearance”.

Maverick Viñales
FP3 – 1:52.494, 14 laps, 66 km.
QP – 1:52.160, 18 laps, 85 km.
“I am very happy to have taken pole at my home race, as it means a lot to be able to do this for the fans. I think that we had a really good session and got a very positive feeling from it, which is important as this isn’t entirely the best track for me. Le Mans was more suited to my riding style, whilst Montmeló is completely different and we have had to adapt in order to ride comfortably. We have everything ready for tomorrow, but we just have to wait and see what the weather will be like. If the temperatures drop, the tyres will degrade less and we will be able to maintain our pace better”.

Source: Repsol Media

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