• Welcome to the new B.I.R.D. Forum. Please be sure to read the "New Member / New Registered ? Please Read" thread in the Coffee Shop. This contains some important information. To become a full member ( £5.50 a year ) simply click on your user name near the top on the right I hope you enjoy the new site ................ Jaws ( John )



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Team Suzuki Press Office – November 8.
As per tradition, the Valencian Grand Prix will be the round that brings an end to the 2017 MotoGP World Championship and bridges into the 2018 season with the test that follows on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the weekend´s race.

Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins have recovered well since their return from the very long and distant Japan-Australia-Malaysia trip and are now ready to face the last challenge of the season. They are already eager to start thinking about the new season. The last race in Sepang was a bitter one, with Iannone out of the points and Rins crashing out, but the previous races in Motegi and Phillip Island had been positive ones. Both riders were able to sense the improvements in the feeling of the bike and the consequent improvement of performance.

The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia will mark a return to where it all started; the riders had their first go with the GSX-RR’s right on this track exactly one year ago. The Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana (Valencian Racetrack) is a facility that was completed in 1999 and has been hosting the GP ever since. The track is pretty tight, but the complex can hold around 150,000 fans in the stadium-style grandstands. Since it is the final GP of the season, many people are expected to come and support their heroes. The MotoGP™ events are held on a 4km track comprised of five right-hand corners, eight left-handers, and a 650m straight, for a total distance of 120.2 km (74.7 miles) over 30 laps.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We look forward to racing in Valencia. Even if Malaysia was not as good as we expected the last part of the season had some very positive aspects. We head to Valencia eager to finish in good shape. The layout of the track is perhaps not the best for our bike, but we will try to close out the season with a good quality result. The season has been difficult for us, but in the end we recuperated some positive feelings. We will try our best in the Valencia race and then start a new season using to our advantage the accumulated experience.”

Andrea Iannone
“Valencia is a peculiar track that I can race very well when I have a good feel for the bike. My race last year was a good one. I was coming back after injury and had a positive feeling with the layout. This year I’m approaching the race in a high spirits because I still link this circuit with the first time ever that I tried the GSX-RR, and the feeling was great. Our goal is to close this season in a good way. In the last races we have had some ups and downs, but on average we have been able to make important improvements in this final stretch of the season.”

Alex Rins
“This will be the last race of the season and I really want to finish with a positive result. Of course it will be emotional to ride again in Valencia because this was the circuit where I tried a MotoGP machine for the very first time. The GSX-RR was impressive. For sure things have changed a lot since the beginning; we have made many improvements throughout the season and I myself especially learned a lot. I´m approaching this weekend in a completely different mood than one year ago, as you might imagine. Another positive thing is that in the last part of the season we began a positive trend. The machine has grown and with it also my knowledge of it all. Let’s take it step by step and have a positive last race of the season.”


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Movistar Yamaha Make Ready for Final 2017 MotoGP Race
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi return to Spain for Sunday's 2017 MotoGP World Championship finale, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.

Viñales arrives in his home country determined to fight for a podium spot. Having secured third place in the championship at the previous round at the Sepang International Circuit a fortnight ago, he focuses on wrapping up the season in the best way possible this weekend.

The Ricardo Tormo circuit was the scene of some great moments for the home hero. He stood on the podium in Valencia twice, having secured victory in his first 125cc race there in 2011, as well as in 2013, when he again was the first rider to reach the chequered flag in the Moto3 class, earning him the World Championship Title. His best MotoGP finish was last year, when he took fifth place.

After three intense race weekends overseas, Rossi enters the final round determined to keep hold of fourth place in the championship rankings. He has a 12-point advantage over his closest rival and will push to the maximum to further increase it in the 2017 Grand Finale.

Out of the 17 premier class races that the nine-time World Champion took part in at the Ricardo Tormo track so far, he has taken two MotoGP wins, in 2003 and 2004, and he stood on the podium eight times in total, having secured second places in 2002, 2009 and 2014 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

The 4.0 km long Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo was completed in 1999 and was immediately added to the MotoGP calendar for that same year. The twisty track lay-out (featuring nine left and five right corners and an 876 m longest straight) is challenging for both man and machine, but beloved by many riders as well as the fans. The stadium offers spectators a perfect view of all parts of the circuit from every stand, so they won't miss any of the action as the MotoGP season comes to a close.


Maverick Viñales
Championship: 3rd - Points: 226
"I arrive in Valencia in a very positive mood. After the last three races in Asia and Oceania I've spent some time at home, training and relaxing. The Ricardo Tormo Circuit is a track that I really like, it has a lay-out that suits my riding style very well. We expect nice weather for the entire week, so I will try to push and give my 100% to finish the season with a nice podium at the last round. We are already focused on the next season and we also want to work hard during the test next week."


Valentino Rossi
Championship: 4th - Points: 197
"The last race of the season has come. It wasn't an exciting end of the season for us, but during the three races overseas we've got some more data for our bike and we've always been fine on the dry. We hope that there will be good weather in Valencia to work in the best way. We are not fighting for the championship this weekend, but we will try to make it a good race anyway, and we will try to use next week's two-day test to start working on the 2018 season."

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the triple header overseas the team had a few days to catch their breath before the final race of the season. We're all looking forward to the Valencia Grand Prix. The atmosphere at the last round is always special: one season ends and immediately after the next one begins. We're arriving in Spain with the goal to not only end the season with a positive result, but we also want to start working for next year. There's a busy week ahead of us and we are impatient to get started."

Zarco Fired Up for Season Finale - Van der Mark to Step in Once Again
Johann Zarco aims to conclude his memorable debut season in the premier class with a podium finish at the last round showdown in Valencia. The French sensation has already been crowned the 2017 Top Independent rider as well as Rookie of the Year and his target is to power to another notable result on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will not participate in the Valencia GP as he continues to recover, and the returning WorldSBK front-runner, Michael van der Mark will replace him. The Dutch rider impressively fought to 16th at Sepang and intends to deliver another strong performance this weekend.


Johann Zarco
Championship: 6th - Points: 154
"It’s already the last Grand Prix of the season and the year has gone quite quickly but very interestingly. I am so happy to go to Valencia with this high level of confidence and a positive feeling from the last few races. I will see what my potential is on Friday and Saturday, yet, if I can be competitive and remain with the top three riders, then I hope to fight for another podium. In fact, why not try and go for the first victory? Let's see, but for sure I want to enjoy the Valencia GP a lot."


Michael van der Mark
Championship: Not Classified
"It’s a shame that Jonas cannot ride in Valencia, but I am really honoured that Hervé asked me again because I think it showed that I did quite a good job in Sepang. I have not ridden in Valencia for a long time, but hopefully, it will be a little bit easier than the race in Malaysia, now that I know the bike, the tyres and the brakes more. The most important thing is that I hope we have a normal dry weekend, where I can ride a lot of laps and improve myself together with the bike. I just want to make steps forward and close the gap to the front guys plus, just enjoy the occasion because it's an amazing opportunity."

Hervé Poncharal
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"It has already been a year since Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger rode the YZR-M1 for the first time and it feels like yesterday. Not only have we done the winter tests together, but the whole season and now we arrive at the last round of the 2017 campaign. It is exciting yet, also a time to look back at what we have achieved and I think we can be quite proud of what has been done by the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Our riders did a great job, although Jonas, unfortunately, could not finish the year with us due to him having to fight a tough illness and we really hope he recovers well. Regarding Johann Zarco, there isn’t much to say that hasn't already been said. Rookie of the Year, Best Independent rider, two podiums, two pole positions, as well as many unbelievable memories. The last time we were here, we tested and it was successful, however, the bike and the rider have certainly improved. I’m certain that Johann will want to finish the season on a high note with another strong performance. I would like also to welcome Michael van der Mark for his second MotoGP event with Monster Yamaha Tech3. We were quite happy to see that he finished 4th in the second WorldSBK race in Qatar and close to the leading group. This is hopefully a sign that he is in good form and I’m sure that this time he will feel more at home on the YZR- M1 and with the Tech3 team, having worked with us in Malaysia. He can go out, have fun and show his true potential. There are a lot of things that will happen during this weekend, and the championship is still to be decided between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Everyone has a good reason to push and finish the year on a high note. I will say to everyone following MotoGP and our team, come and support us at this last race, which will be the definite end to a great and memorable MotoGP season."


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Scott chases the Top 10 with confidence. Difficult Friday for Petrux in Valencia

The last weekend of the 2017 MotoGP season will be staged at the Valencia circuit and the Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana will decree the next World Champion with the challenge between Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez who has thrilled fans from all over the world.

For Octo Pramac Racing it's not an easy Friday, especially for Danilo Petrucci who after the good sensations in the last run of the FP1 did not manage to improve in the afternoon. On the other hand, there were positive signals from Scott Redding who managed to take a good step forward during the day to stay close to the Top 10.

In FP2 the English rider managed to improve by 8 thents of a second his best time of FP1 and with the chrono of 1'31.733 finished in 14th position, 3 tenths of a second from the hypothetical Q2 direct qualification.

Petrux struggled a lot especially in the middle part of the circuit and in the afternoon he was not able to do better than the lap-time of 1'32.029 recorded in the FP1, finishing in 20th position in the overall classification.

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20th Danilo Petrucci - 1'32.029
“It was a very difficult day. The direction we have taken has not yielded the desired results. The positive thing is that we have understood that this is not the right direction, so tomorrow we will try to work on the set up to be more competitive”.



14th Scott Redding - 1'31.733
“All in all, things have not gone wrong today. I have a good feeling even though I will have to improve a lot in order to win the Q2. I don't want to set myself objectives for tomorrow other than to be the best Ducati satellite in the last qualifying session of the season”.


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Team Suzuki Press Office – November 10.

Andrea Iannone: P4 – 1’31.045 +0.405
Alex Rins: P16 - 1'31.876 +1.236

The first day in Valencia is shaping up well for Andrea Iannone, who led this morning’s FP1 and is currently 4th in the combined classification of the day. Alex Rins improved throughout the day, cutting nearly one second in the afternoon from the FP1, to clock 1’31.876. This gives him the provisional 16th place in the combined classification.

The morning went well for Iannone from the very beginning. He had good feeling with the bike and started to lap with consistency as the session progressed, improving his performance lap after lap. With the setup giving him more confidence, he was able to conclude the session with a time of 1’31.045, which set him in first place. In the afternoon´s FP2 the work continued on worn tyres covering more than the race distance in order to test the consistency of the pace. Only at the end of the session did Iannone leave with soft new tyres to try the time attack, but a slide at corner 10 (right one) of the exit lap brought an early end to his attempt to improve. Luckily the crash did have any further negative repercussions for Iannone.

Despite some initial troubles at the beginning of FP1, Rins began to feel better laps after laps. His 1'32.797 was worth 20th place in the classification, but in the afternoon things went better. With a different setup configuration he was more efficient, cutting nearly one second off the lap time (1’31.876 his best in FP2), which also meant he reduced his gap from the provisional leader from 1.752s to 1.236s.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It was a shame, the slide of Andrea at the end of the afternoon, because until that moment our day was very positive. In fact, the time he scored this morning is still worth 4th place in the combined classification, even though he could not go for a proper time attack yet. He has a good pace and feeling. He has remained among the fastest in both sessions. We still can improve something in the configuration so I hope tomorrow he will be able to further improve. Also Alex had a positive day, the current position in classification is a little misleading since today we did very intense work with him and he is just missing the time attack. We were able to finalize many little things for him, and tomorrow we will try to put them all together to see a marked improvement.”

Andrea Iannone
“I’m happy for this morning because we were fast and I had good feeling with the bike. In the afternoon we continued to work with used tyres to settle the pace configuration. We were able to lap an important distance, longer than the race distance, and the performance is good. At the end we switched to new soft tyres and unfortunately I took a slide, losing the front end in a right-hand corner. Here in Valencia the right-hand corners are always a crucial matter. Maybe the tyre was not at the right temperature so I lost it. We will figure out what happened, although the most important thing is that I didn’t get hurt and that overall the day has given us positive results.”

Alex Rins
“Today, in the morning, things went quite well. Even if we couldn’t complete a very fast lap, our race pace is not so bad. Tomorrow we will look for a best lap to enter directly in Q2. We have to try more the winglets for tomorrow because today we hardly ever used them. We have margin to improve and so many details to refine like reducing the wheelie or braking stability.”

GP of Valencia – Combined practice times of Day 1:
1. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team - 1'30.640
2. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - 1'30.762 +0.122
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team - 1'30.949 +0.309
4. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'31.045 +0.405
5. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'31.054 +0.414
6. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - 1'31.243 +0.603
7. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 1'31.357 +0.717
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda - 1'31.383 +0.743
9. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Team - 1'31.413 +0.773
10. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'31.438 +0.798
11. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'31.488 +0.848
12. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'31.624 +0.984
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 1'31.698 +1.058
14. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing - 1'31.733 +1.093
15. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 1'31.858 +1.218
16. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'31.876 +1.236
17. Mika KALLIO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'31.879 +1.239
18. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing - 1'31.926 +1.286
19. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 1'31.958 +1.318
20. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing - 1'32.029 +1.389
21. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 1'32.076 +1.436
22. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing - 1'32.151 +1.511
23. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'32.457 +1.817
24. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 1'32.587 1.947
25. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'33.101 +2.461


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Movistar Yamaha Start Spanish Showdown in Valencia
Free practice
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales slowly turned up the heat at the first free practice sessions of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. As the temperatures rose, the teammates upped their speed to secure 11th and 12th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.

It was a busy first day at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo for Rossi. For the nine-time World Champion, the goal in the morning session was to find a solid base setting, one he could develop further throughout the weekend. Whilst working his way through various setting options, he set a time of 1'32.538s to finish in 18th position, 1.493s behind the leader.

In the afternoon, the Doctor wasted no time to pick up where he left off in the morning. He was eager to get out on track and briefly led the way, before continuing to fine-tune his bike's setting. As the times dropped towards the end of the session, he responded by bettering his fastest lap to 1'31.488s for ninth, but just missed out on a place inside the top-10 overall. He finished the day in 11th place in the combined results, 0.848s from first.

Though the Spanish sunshine gave a false impression of a late summer day, Viñales headed out in FP1 in chilly conditions, curious to find out what the grip level would be like while the track temperature only measured 12ºC. He made a cautious start, but gradually found confidence, all the while improving his time. Ultimately, he dropped under the 1'32s mark on his third run, clocking a 1'31.750s best lap, for sixth place, 0.705s from the front.

The afternoon saw more of the same from the local hero. As the temperature went up, he again spent most of the session working on the balance of his YZR-M1, whilst trying a couple of set-up changes during the second 45-minute session. Following his usual routine, he saved the best for his last outing. He was able to improve to a 1'31.624s lap for 11th place, 0.984s from the top of the FP2 ranking, and completed the day in 12th position in the combined times.


Valentino Rossi
Position: 11th - Time: 1'31.488 - Laps: 45
"It was a difficult day, especially this morning, because I didn't feel good with the bike, but in the afternoon we improved the feeling and the setting. In the end, though I wasn't fantastic, I was also not so bad, my speed was quite good. Here in Valencia it's always difficult, because the grip is very low. During the whole season we suffered a lot in these types of conditions, so we have a lot to work on."


Maverick Viñales
Position: 12th - Time: 1'31.624 - Laps: 45
"It was a challenging day. We were struggling on the brakes, and trying to make the bike turn in the corners was difficult. It's hard to understand what the situation is, I just try to ride the bike in the best way I can. This was the result and we will try to improve. I think we have the level to reach the top-5. Let's see tomorrow, so far it seems to be quite a difficult weekend."

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"The first day didn't quite go to plan. Even though we tried different set-ups on both sides of the garage, we haven't been able to improve as much as we wanted to. However, we were still able to compare different tyre specifications and got some good information for when we make the tyre choice for the race. It's really important for tomorrow's session that we find what didn't work today, so we can improve."

Zarco Ignites Valencia Challenge with Positive Display on Day 1 - Van der Mark Makes Solid Steps Forward
Johann Zarco kicked off his quest to complete the season finale on the rostrum with a strong showing on the first day of action. The French star improved in both sessions before concluding the afternoon practice in 5th with his best time leaving him only 0.105 back from the top three, and as the leading Yamaha rider. Tomorrow he intends to progress further by sealing a front row start in qualifying.

Meanwhile, Michael van der Mark, who is stepping in for the recovering Jonas Folger, used the initial practice sessions to get to grips with the meandering Valencia circuit. The WorldSBK front-runner made leaps forward and wrapped up the day with a time that was almost one and a half seconds quicker than his personal best in the morning. Tomorrow, the action commences at 09:55 with FP3.


Johann Zarco
Position: 5th - Time: 1'31.054 - Laps: 43
"I am happy with what we achieved today and I started well, with a good pace. We did some constructive work with the medium tyres, which enabled us to save the soft compound until later. When we used it, I improved my time, but, to be honest, I expected a bit more. However, I am inside the top ten which is the most important thing. I will keep pushing and the information that we collected this afternoon will be useful for qualifying. I am pleased that we had dry and clear weather today and it should be the same for the entire weekend. Anyway, I am enjoying my time here and I hope to stay with the top guys tomorrow in order to prepare for a positive Sunday."


Michael van der Mark
Position: 25th - Time: 1'33.101 - Laps: 48
"Overall, it was a good first day despite the fact that I had to get used to the bike again, and I haven't raced here for a long time. In the first session I struggled with the feeling a bit, but towards the end, I managed to improve gradually even if the gap to the front was quite big. In FP2 this afternoon, I felt stronger and more comfortable on the bike, then, in the final part of the practice, we put some new tyres on and I made a good step forward. However, it wasn't as big as I wanted, but we can see that we are making real progress. I am enjoying every single lap, and hopefully tomorrow we can adjust the bike a little bit more to my style."


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Difficult qualifying for Octo Pramac Racing. Petrux 15th and Scott 22th on the grid of #ValenciaGP

The last qualifying session of the 2017 MotoGP season has not given any emotions to the Octo Pramac Racing. Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding are unable to solve Friday's problems and have to settle for the fifth and eighth row respectively.

Petrux tries to solve the difficulties of Friday free practice working on the set up and manages to increase his speed. However, the problems cornering the corner speed in the middle of the circuit remain. In Q1 the rider from Terni tried to push but could not find the conditions to conquer the Q2 closing in 15th position.

For Scott a very disappointing Saturday. The English rider’s pace is good (13th lap time in FP4s at 2 tenths from fourth place) but a crash at the end of the FP3 reduced his confidence. Scott is not competitive in Q1s and ends up in 22th position.

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15th Danilo Petrucci - 1'31.216
“We had a lot of difficulties this weekend, we changed a lot, we also went back to the set up of the beginning of the season but we didn't manage to take a major step forward. However, I think the Top 10 is possible”.



22th Scott Redding - 1'31.625
“Tomorrow we will start from the back so we can only improve. If I have to be honest, the race pace is good but it won't be easy to get a good result. It's a very difficult weekend for me”.


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Team Suzuki Press Office – November 11.

Andrea Iannone: P3 - 1'30.399 +0.502
Alex Rins: P10 - 1'30.972 +1.075

Andrea Iannone capitalized on the positive improvements made at the weekend and put together a very effective qualifying round, with one lap in 1'30.399 that gave him third place in classification and tomorrow’s grid. A consistent Alex Rins took 10th place with 1'30.972.

It was a good start to the day for both Iannone and Rins, who settled their GSX-RRs in the top ten at the beginning of the session. As the times began improving lap by lap, Iannone was able to take advantage of the better feeling with the bike and clock 1'30.501 which gave him 3rd place in the session’s classification, and also third in the combined. The young Rins made even bigger improvements compared to yesterday’s performance, cutting nearly one second off his FP2 time and getting under the 1’31 wall. The 1'30.846 in today’s FP3 was 5th fastest of the session and 6th fasted in the combined. This was enough to get direct access to Q2.

Not having to dispute the Q1 session, both riders could focus their afternoon on FP4 and Q2. In the early session of the afternoon, Iannone and Rins demonstrated a solid and fast pace, finalizing good setups for tomorrow. In qualifying things heated up, with many riders improving their lap times considerably. Iannone gained confidence during the battle and kept his performance alongside the top part of the class. His ability to take advantage of the new tyres in the last round paid off with the 3rd place finish, which gives him a good chance in tomorrow race.
There is also a good chance for a positive GP for Alex Rins, who classified tenth in qualifying, but has a renewed enthusiasm for the direct access to Q2. He also showed his performance was both solid and consistent in terms of pace.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“So far it has been a nice weekend and it is beautiful to get back in front row after a very difficult season. Since yesterday Andrea has been able to ride very fast and he continued to do so today. Finally he got in the front row, so hopefully he will be able to make a good start, keep pace with the top guys, and complete a good race. Alex is having a good weekend as well. He had a great FP3, going into Q2 directly. He is starting from 10th position, but he can have a good race. We have a good pace with both riders so we hope to finish the season in the best way, with a nice race.

Andrea Iannone
“The qualifying has been very positive. I’m happy also because we´ve been fast consistently throughout all the sessions. We struggled but we managed to be close to the fastest. We did a great job and I feel in shape. I feel confident and I hope to get a good result in the race. The race itself won’t be easy; we are still missing something in the pace and moreover, we will need to manage the tyres well and conserve them for the final seven or eight laps. We have some room for improvement. The engineers already have some ideas; we will try to work something out in the warm-up. The start will be important as well, both the first corner and the early laps.”

Alex Rins
“It´s been a very positive weekend. I’m very happy with the work during FP3 and FP4. We achieved the first goal, to get into the Q2, and the next goal will be to finish at least in the Top 10. Now we have to check which the best tyre to use for the race is. It will depend on the track temperature.”

GP of Valencia – Qualifying classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - 1'29.897
2. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'30.246 +0.349
3. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'30.399 +0.502
4. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team - 1'30.460 +0.563
5. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - 1'30.589 +0.692
6. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Team - 1'30.764 +0.867
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'30.848 +0.951
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 1'30.857 +0.960
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team - 1'30.961 +1.064
10. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 1'30.972 +1.075
11. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'31.044 +1.147
12. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 1'31.190 +1.293
13. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 1'31.030 (Q1)
14. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 1'31.197 (Q1)
15. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing - 1'31.216 (Q1)
16. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda - 1'31.297 (Q1)
17. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'31.300 (Q1)
18. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 1'31.325 (Q1)
19. Mika KALLIO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 1'31.361 (Q1)
20. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing - 1'31.487 (Q1)
21. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 1'31.578 (Q1)
22. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing - 1'31.625 (Q1)
23. Loris BAZ Reale Avintia Racing - 1'31.775 (Q1)
24. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 1'31.816 (Q1)
25. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 1'32.504 (Q1)


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Movistar Yamaha Search for Solution on Second Day in Spain
An incident-packed last Q2 session of the season, held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit this afternoon, saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi secure seventh place on the grid for the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. His teammate Maverick Viñales took part in Q1 and only just missed out on a place in the top-2, to promote to Q2. He will start tomorrow's race from 13th position.

Rossi was impatient to get things going in today's Q2 session. As soon as the pit lane lights went green he dashed out on track aboard his YZR-M1, but he had to hold back due to traffic on his first lap. Once the nine-time World Champion found himself some clear track space, he settled into tenth position. He went on to improve his time on his third try, but didn't better his position and held tenth place as he returned to the pits.

The Doctor was back out on track again with five minutes of the shoot-out remaining. Having dropped to 11th place, he put his head down and climbed up to eighth. He gained another position on his fifth attempt. The Italian had one lap remaining after the flag had come out, but he didn't improve on his 1'30.848s and remained in seventh place, 0.951s from pole. He will start the final showdown from the third row of the grid.

Viñales was not among the first riders to get out at the start of the Q1 session. He lingered in the pit box for a while at the start of the 15-minute session, to be ensured of free space so he could focus on dropping a hot time. His first lap, on a medium rear tyre, put him in third place. As the other riders started to speed up, the local hero was setting personal best sectors on his second flying lap, to move up from 12th to 6th. He was keen on continuing the momentum, but ran wide in the first corner and aborted the lap to return to the box for a soft rear tyre.

He was back on his bike with six minutes left on the clock, determined to further improve on his best time. He moved up from seventh to second, posting a 1'31.030s on his fifth full lap, but was pushed back to third as the times dropped in the final minutes. He had one more try left, but was unable to better his lap time and ended the session in third place, 0.137s from first place in Q1. He will start tomorrow's race from 13th place on the grid.


Valentino Rossi
Position: 7th - Time: 1'30.848 - Laps: 9
"I'm quite happy, because I was able to arrive directly in the Q2 with a tenth place, and after I improved a little bit in the afternoon. In qualifying I was improving my position. It was a good lap and I could have stayed on the second row, but unfortunately I made a mistake in the last corner, I arrived too fast, so I lost time. Anyway, the seventh place is not so bad, considering this weekend and our speed. I think we will do a very hard race tomorrow, because our pace isn't fantastic, but it's just the Saturday, so we need to try to do something for tomorrow and we'll see."


Maverick Viñales
Position: 13th - Time: 1'31.030 - Laps: 8
"Normally it's difficult to really improve the bike throughout the weekend, so this is not a special scenario. However, this weekend seems to be even more difficult, but that doesn't mean we'll be settling. Anyway, I would like to remain optimistic, that we can find new options that we can test in tomorrow's warm up. In any case, I will do my best as always."

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"The Valencia Grand Prix is proving to be a challenge for us this year. On a positive note, Valentino seemed to have found something in the free practice sessions that improved his feeling. He was gaining momentum throughout most of the Q2 session. It was a pity that a mistake in the final corner lost him time, but he still secured seventh place on the grid. Maverick wasn't feeling as confident, though he tried many things in the practice sessions. He started the Q1 on the medium rear tyre, hoping that he would have the pace to position himself inside the top-2 without using one of the softer rear tyres, but this turned out to be impossible today. He set a good time on his second run with the softer tyre, but unfortunately it wasn't enough in the end to promote to Q2 and he took 13th position. We know that tomorrow is going to be a tough race for us. After challenging sessions, it's difficult to be confident for the race, but we still believe that we can prepare something for tomorrow."

Phenomenal Zarco Storms to 2nd in Valencia GP Qualifying - Van der Mark Ready to Race
Johann Zarco impressively sealed his fourth consecutive front row start with a superb performance in the last qualifying shootout of the season. The French star began the day with instant speed after finishing FP3 in 2nd. Then, in QP2, he blazed to a personal best that left him as the leading Yamaha rider on the grid, and confirmed his sixth top three qualifying result of the year. The top Independent rider seeks to clinch a podium tomorrow to end his debut season in MotoGP on a high.

On the other hand, Michael van der Mark produced a relentless effort today as he progressed in every session before qualifying on the ninth row. The stand-in rider seeks to undertake a strong start tomorrow and then challenge for a point scoring finish as he makes his second appearance for Monster Yamaha Tech3 whilst stepping in for the recovering Jonas Folger.


Johann Zarco
Position: 2nd - Time: 1'30.246 - Laps: 8
"It was a great qualifying performance. I started quite well with a 1'30.5 lap time, but then it got to the stage where it was tricky to go faster. However, we changed something on the bike, which allowed me to do a 1'30.2. It was not possible to match the pole time today, yet, I think that even though I couldn't do this, I will be able to run a very solid pace in the race tomorrow. Plus, I hope to have a good battle. There will be a lot of riders who will be quick and they all want to win or go for the podium. So I will be ready to fight, and I'll use this second place qualifying result to stay at the front. It will be 30 long laps but I think I can run the pace that I need to and stay focused. In addition, I must keep my energy until the end."


Michael van der Mark
Position: 25th - Time: 1'32.504 - Laps: 9
"This morning we made some changes on the bike and I started to feel better and better. I was still getting used to the YZR-M1 and I didn't feel totally comfortable on it yet. However, we made steps forward and towards the end of the session, I cut my lap time again, not as much as I wanted to, but I was still happy. In FP4 I tried two different bikes and we found one with a slightly better setup so I was able to run good lap times on used tyres, which was satisfying. In qualifying, I improved again on my first lap, and then, at the end with new tyres, I did the same lap time. I am pleased that I made progress in every session, but I wanted to make bigger steps. We need to find a better riding position for me, and we also have to adjust the bike a bit more for my style and feeling. The team are working really hard and we are advancing every time we go out on the track, which was my goal, but I hope that tomorrow in the race, we can make another step and then fight with some of the guys in front of us."