06 Jul First and Fourth Row Start for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP in Germany
Viñales left the box as soon as the pit lane lights turned green at the start of the Q2 session. He opted for a hard-hard tyre combination on his first of three runs in total, using a two-stop strategy, and was feeling confident of a top-3 result as he had just finished FP4 in first place.
The Yamaha rider‘s first lap put him in fourth position, and he moved up to third on his next try but found himself in fourth place again as other riders completed their efforts. He then returned to the pits to get some fresh rubber, switching to the soft rear tyre.
After the quick stop, the Spaniard was in fifth. Though he was held up behind another rider, he still reclaimed fourth on his next attempt, but it didn‘t last long. Holding fifth place again, he returned to the pits once more to also give the medium front tyre a try.
Knowing how difficult it is to overtake at the Sachsenring, the number-12 rider was determined to get a front row start. He pushed hard and set a 1‘20.406s on his penultimate hot lap to briefly take second place and ultimately finished the session in third, 0.211s from pole.
Rossi missed the top-10 in FP3 by only 0.007s, meaning he had to take part in Q1 to earn a spot in Q2.
The Doctor let the other riders take a head start, so he could commence his shoot-out without any traffic. He used the medium-hard tyre combination for his benchmark lap, which put him directly into provisional first place. When the pace picked up he was pushed back to third, but the Italian was already on a second fast lap, to take over top billing once more. He improved his time again on lap 3, to a 1‘21.236s, before heading to pit lane holding a 0.144s advantage.
After a quick stop to switch to a soft rear tyre, the Yamaha rider was back on his way. In the final minutes he was pushed back to second place, but the nine-time World Champion had a trick up his sleeve. He posted his first lap under the 1‘21s-mark, a 1‘20.933s, at exactly the right moment. He gained the number one spot and held on to it with a 0.169s advantage until the chequered flag came out.
Unfortunately a crash in the final stages of Q1 meant the crew had a quick repair job to do for the next session. With the help of Maverick’s side of the garage, Rossi was able to participate on his first bike. His initial try in Q2 put him in ninth place, but he soon dropped to tenth. He improved his time but not his placement on the next lap and returned to the box.
On his second run he temporarily moved up to eighth with a 1‘21.137s, but he was unable to further improve on this time on the next two laps and ended the day in 11th place, 0.942s from the top.