The Yamaha Factory team endured a troubled start to the Czech Republic MotoGP, round three of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, in Brno after Maverick Vinales hurt his shoulder in a crash and Valentino Rossi’s ongoing issues with tyre degradation surfaced once more.

On a day that saw Yamaha lockout the front positions with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli going 1-2 for Petronas SRT in FP2, factory riders Vinales and Rossi had more low key days as they struggled to make best use of the M1’s strengths in edge grip on the bumpy surface.

For Vinales, his day was compromised just minutes in the first session when he got wide onto the bumps at the penultimate Turn 13 left-hander and fell hard. Giving his shoulder a thump and damaging his Yamaha as he slid into the barriers, the Spaniard – who ended up fifth fastest in FP2 – admits it was a tougher day than he anticipated.

“The feeling overall is good, I‘m quite satisfied. This morning I made a mistake, because I went a little bit wide and I hit the bumps, so I crashed. I hit my right shoulder, but it seems like everything is okay, so I‘m quite happy about that.

“The conditions here are totally different from what we had in Jerez, it‘s a different situation, so we have to think and try to understand where and how each tyre spec is working for our bike and adjust the set-up accordingly. I‘m optimistic for the race, I think we can do a really good job.

“The track is very slippery and bumpy but, though I didn‘t do the perfect lap today, the feeling is there, and I feel confident. I think we understand well where we can improve, so we‘re going to work very hard this evening to make another step for tomorrow.”

With the cooler temperatures and much bumpier surface compared with Jerez two weeks’ earlier, Rossi – only 12th fastest - says he has been suffering with swift tyre degradation on the rear once again but is hopeful he can get on top of it for what will be a crucial FP3 session in the morning.

“It‘s a difficult situation and these are difficult conditions. The track‘s layout is fantastic, but the asphalt here has some bumps and the grip level is low. We especially suffer from rear tyre degradation, after some laps we lose a lot of performance.

“I think solving that will be key for a good result on Sunday. My pace is not so bad, but unfortunately during the lap with the soft tyre I wasn‘t strong enough to stay inside the top 10, so this is a problem. We need to use tomorrow morning‘s FP3 to get a place in the top 10 and get into Q2. In MotoGP everything changes from one practice session to the other.

“It‘s only Friday. As always there are a lot of riders and different bikes that are very strong, but my speed is not so bad either. We have to work in some areas to further improve, but we are quite good.”

 

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