Assertive Start for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP in Argentina

Assertive Start for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP in Argentina

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The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team showed competitive form on the first day of riding at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit. Valentino Rossi also showed good pace, positioning his YZR-M1 towards the top of the rankings for most of the free practice sessions, and went on to secure seventh position overall.

Rossi's name was found at the top of the standings early on in the first 45-minute free practice session. Feeling comfortable on his bike in the cooler conditions, he gradually improved his pace and finished FP1 taking seventh place with a best lap of 1'40.825s, 0.522s to first.

The afternoon saw more of the same from the Doctor. He dropped a 1'43.034s for provisional first place in the first few laps. He then worked on the tyres, electronics and balance of the bike to prepare a race set-up, until spots of rain interrupted the FP2 proceedings. He held seventh place when track action picked up again in the second half of the session. He further improved his time to 1'40.577s, but remained in seventh position as the chequered flag came out, 1.182s from the top. 

Today's FP1 and FP2 results see the team  take 6th and 7th place respectively in the combined timesheets. Tomorrow they will be back on track from 10:55 - 11:40 local track time (GMT-3) for Free Practice 3, followed by Free Practice 4 from 14:30 - 15:00 and the qualifying sessions from 15:10 - 15:50.

Valentino Rossi

Position: 7th - Time: 1'40.577 - Laps: 30

"The main target was to stay inside the top-10, because the weather is very difficult to predict - this is very important. I'm quite happy about my pace with the harder tyres, because I feel comfortable with the bike. I put the soft on in the end but, unfortunately, I wasn't able to improve like I expected. With the softer tyre I didn't feel very good. We have to manage this problem, especially tomorrow for the qualifying. We also have to wait for the weather, because it's difficult to understand what will happen and I hope it will be dry."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"The first free practice sessions are always tricky here, because the surface requires the riders to put some rubber on the track first in FP1. During FP2 we lost a bit of time due to spots of rain, but luckily it held off, so we were still able to get work done in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race. Vale has been consistently fast throughout the day and is quite pleased with the bike. Even though we started the weekend in the right way, we still have some work to do, especially concerning braking and corner entry, to close the gap. We expect the track conditions to improve during the weekend, but the weather for tomorrow remains uncertain, which makes a top-10 result for both riders in the combined FP1-FP2 standings all the more important."