Isaac Viñales qualifies 7th & Xavi Vierge 17th at rain-hit Silverstone
Tech3 Racing Team rider Isaac Viñales powered through the bad weather today to notably seize a start at the head of the third row of the grid for the 12th round of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship at the legendary Silverstone circuit.
The Spaniard commenced the day by completing 14 laps in the dry FP3 session and he finished 1.234 back from the top ten. The intermediate class rookie then optimistically looked on to the qualifying shootout, which was fully wet when it began. Viñales, who has previously produced some notable rides in the damp conditions, got straight to work and quickly got up to speed.
He bravely pushed onwards and eventually posted a best time on his 9th lap, that saw him seal 7th and which was only a tenth of a second back from 5th place. With the solid grid position having boosted his confidence, Viñales looks to undertake a strong start and then close the weekend with a solid point scoring result.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge also pulled off a determined performance aboard the Mistral 610 today and will begin the British Grand Prix from the middle of the sixth row of the grid. The 19-year-old completed the morning practice session in 11th and only one second back from the championship leader, Johann Zarco, who finished in 5th.
The positive start filled the Spaniard with optimism for the afternoon and here, he set off at speed as he looked to beat the tricky weather. After consistently improving, the 2015 CEV runner-up scored his fastest time on his 12th lap of fifteen, which left him a second back from the top ten. Despite the challenging conditions, the result is Vierge’s best qualifying in the world championship and tomorrow he seeks to climb through the pack and met the chequered flag in the points.
“I am pleased with my qualifying performance and I am confident about my chances in the race because I will start from the head of the third row. I like to ride in the wet, and we can see this after today’s result and the two top fifteen finishes at previous GP’s when it has rained. We changed the rubber in the middle of the QP session, and I think that I could have lowered my time further, but I felt more comfortable on the tyres that we used before. Nevertheless, overall I enjoyed riding the Mistral 610 in the damp conditions and I am content. The Tech3 Racing Team did a good job and even though we don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow, I am optimistic because of my starting place, which will make the fight for a finish in the points slightly less challenging. I am happy and looking forward to round 12 at Silverstone.”
“This is my best qualifying position of the year, but I can’t help but be a bit disappointed with the result even if the conditions were tough today at Silverstone. In Brno, my feeling in the wet was amazing, but it wasn’t the same here because there is very little grip at this track. I pushed hard every lap so that I could improve my time, but I made a few mistakes and I couldn’t get any higher. This is a big shame because I have been inside the top fifteen in every free practice this week and that left me confident for QP. Tomorrow is the most important day of the event, so I will stay focused for the afternoon and there, my aim will be to try to catch some more valuable world championship points again.”