Miguel Oliveira 2nd, Maverick Viñales 5th on Valencia grid
The second day of practice for the Valencia Grand Prix again delivered a great performance by the Repsol riders. Miguel Oliveira, who crashed in the third practice session, shook off the incident and managed to set the second fastest time of the day, allowing him to start from the front row tomorrow. Maverick Viñales was again strong both in the dry and the wet, but was taken out of the final fight for pole position due to technical problems. He will start from fifth, two rows ahead of Álex Márquez, who was twelfth. A harder time was had by Álex Rins, who will start from the sixth row in eighteenth position.
After yesterday’s rain, the sun was out for the second day of practice. Still, the riders in the Moto3 category found that in the first session, the asphalt had not yet had time to dry. Under these conditions, Miguel Oliveira led the timesheets during the first few minutes, but a fall at turn 10 prevented him from riding in much of the session. He was back on track in the final minutes, finishing twelfth. Maverick Viñales, who was very consistent for several laps, took over to finish second. Again among the fastest competitors was Álex Márquez, whose sixth place continued the good work done yesterday, whilst Álex Rins had problems entering corners and was nineteenth.
In the qualifying session, the track finally dried up and Maverick Viñales returned the helm. The Spaniard dominated the first half of the session until technical problems fifteen minutes from time prevented him from going back on track to fight for pole. Viñales will start from fifth. Among the riders sneaking ahead of him late on was Miguel Oliveira, who stopped the clock in 1’41.316, just 53 thousandths of a second off poleman Jonas Folger. 1.117 seconds off the German was a satisfied Álex Márquez, who will depart from twelfth. Álex Rins was eighteenth on the final timesheets.
“I am very happy, because in both rain and dry we are amongst the fastest riders. The team are giving their all, we are sharing all the possible information about the bike in order to be at 100%. We had a little technical problem that stopped us from fighting for pole in the end, but I am sure that we will be able to fix it for tomorrow. We are going to go all-out tomorrow. I always aim to win at every track, and this one will be no different.”
“We knew we could have a dry session for qualifying, and it was our first ride with this bike in such conditions. It was important to work on a good set-up, but at first we struggled a bit. We continued to work and at the end of the session I was able to catch a tow from Jonas Folger, so I could take the fastest lap. I think we did a good job and tomorrow we start from a good position, so we just have to enjoy the race on the bike.”
“I was expecting more from these practices, although I hope to be able to use the warmup tomorrow to go better. We are suffering on corner exit and on the fast sections. Tomorrow will be a difficult race, but I will try to give my all. We didn’t have a good qualifying, so tomorrow we will need a comeback and a good start.”
“The truth is that the second day went pretty well. In the morning the track was wet and both yesterday and today we went very well in the wet. We have taken another small step forward in those conditions. In the afternoon the track completely and we knew it would be difficult, since no one was clear about their setup. At first I didn’t feel very good, but we made some changes for the last run and eventually we went quite a lot better. We still have room for improvement, but for tomorrow, in both dry and wet conditions, we are prepared.”
Source: Repsol Media