Viñales was the second to last rider to leave pit lane at the start of the 15-minute shoot-out. His first flying lap temporarily put him in third place, behind Johann Zarco and Rossi for a provisional Yamaha 1-2-3, until a late starting rider pushed him down one place. The Spaniard went on to improve his time on the next two laps, but still found himself in ninth place as he headed into the pits with more than six minutes remaining.
The young Yamaha-rider soon commenced his second time-attack. He meant business, setting a fastest time in S1 and moved up to seventh place. He again picked up the pace on his next attempt, clocking a 1’31.784s lap, but he didn’t improve his position in the rankings. He finished Q2 in eighth place, 0.599s from the front.
Rossi was unhurt after a fall in FP4 and was quick to exit the pit box for qualifying, knowing that every second counts. His first hot lap put him in second place. Fully in the flow, he continued his challenge. He produced two fastest sectors on the next lap but wasn’t able to hold the advantage, and thus bettered his time but not his place. He was in eighth position as he and his teammate returned to the pit box.
Two minutes later the Italian re-entered the track. Despite improving his best time on the next two hot laps, he couldn’t find the right feeling and was unable to fight for the top spot. He qualified in ninth place, with a best lap of 1’31.900s, 0.715s from first, and will be joining Viñales on the third row of the grid tomorrow.