MAVERICK CRASHES OUT DURING THE ELEVENTH LAP
The importance of qualifying in the modern MotoGP championship is never clearer than in the sprint race on Saturday. With only half the laps available, Aleix’s pace was not enough to allow him to make up positions after his Q2 was conditioned by no fewer than three yellow flags resulting in his flying lap being cancelled. The Spanish rider, who had the speed to make a play for a spot on the front two rows, had to settle for ninth place in the race in spite of his hard work and overtaking.
Maverick, although the fastest riders on rain tyres in Q1, saw his chances at going through to Q2 slip away as the track dried out. After starting from the thirteenth spot on the grid, he complained of a lack of grip which led to a mistake on the eleventh lap as he braked going into the first corner.
"It was not a good race and unfortunately that is mainly because of the qualifiers. I had two of my last attempts cancelled by yellow flags when I had the speed to go for a good position. We also need to improve our start when the lights go out. We are testing new settings, but right now we are unable to be as quick as the others. My pace during the sprint race wasn’t bad – in the top-5 range – but in the pack there is always the usual problem with the feeling at the front and the time I lose overtaking. I hope that tomorrow, with more laps available, my pace will allow me to recover a few positions."
"Today in Q1, the track was drying out but when I went out for the last time attack, the conditions still weren’t right to put on slicks. I was the fastest one among those with the same tyre, but Brad and Marc managed to take advantage of the drier slicks in the finale on slicks. In the sprint race, I never had a good level of grip (we’re analysing the reason) and in trying to maintain the pace, I crashed on turn 1. It is not turning out to be an easy weekend for us. We need to keep working because this is not the level we expect to maintain."