06 Oct Movistar Yamaha Charge to First and Second Row in Hot Thai Qualifying
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.