Vinales Powers to Pole Position at San Marino GP

Viñales had a clear plan for the Q2 session: he would be swapping bikes twice to make sure he had enough space out on track to get in a hot lap. His first flying lap put him in fourth, and he maintained this position on his second attempt, before heading into the pits with eight minutes on the clock.

Within a minute he was back on his way on his second bike, while his first one was getting a splash of fuel for his final run. The Spaniard put his alternate Yamaha on the provisional front row, taking third, and then quickly hopped aboard his first bike again.

There were only two and a half minutes remaining as he entered the track once more, but he made them count. The chequered flag had already come out when he produced a 1‘32.265s for pole position, his second of the season, with a 0.295s advantage over second.

Rossi also came out of the gate strong, though he opted for the more usual one-stop strategy, and slotted into fifth place on his first hot lap. The pace was fast at the start of the session, but the Italian defended his position with a 1‘33.079s lap. Unable to improve on his third try, he headed to the pit box.

With five minutes of the Q2 session left, the Doctor resumed his shoot-out challenge. Whilst being followed by a fellow rider, he was pushing until the very last lap, but it didn‘t work out in his favour. He didn’t better his time on his next two attempts and set two grey sectors on his last try, before a race incident in S3 and S4 ended his chance to get onto the two front rows. This last lap was ultimately also cancelled for exceeding track limits in sector 2. The Italian took seventh in the results, 0.814s from first, and will be starting the race at his home track, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, from the third row.

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