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MotoGP: Viñales remains on top despite free practice fall

Published: 24 March 2017

Updated: 24 March 2017

Maverick Viñales has remained in control of the MotoGP action at the Qatar Grand Prix, finishing the second day on track still top of the timesheets despite a small fall during the first of two outings.

Losing the front after veering onto part of the track left dirty by this afternoon’s rain, the Spaniard was quick to bounce back from the fall to the top spot.

“The crash in FP3 was a big mistake on my part. Honestly, I was pushing and ran a little bit wide and it was at that point where you have to decide to run wide or try to go into the corner and I tried to go into the corner and lost the front. It was my mistake and I was angry with myself because I can’t tolerate mistakes, but I’m happy anyway because we had a really good pace today, even when the track conditions were not as good as yesterday. It was very slippery but finally, when we got the tyre to work, we set many consistent 1’55 laps, so I’m quite happy about that.

“I didn’t feel so good on the bike on the soft tyre, so I didn’t push to the limit. I was trying to keep up a good pace. The bike is working great, we just have to improve the grip a little bit. Maybe today’s weather conditions and the rain added a bit of dust on the track, so we will have to check that tomorrow, but I’m happy overall, apart from the stupid mistake.”

Still fastest thanks to his time from yesterday on a cleaner track, he nonetheless finished FP3 0.014 ahead of a surprise late lap from Andrea Iannone on the Suzuki, with a stunning performance from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookies leaving Johann Zarco third and Jonas Folger 12th overall.

Andrea Dovizioso was fourth, leading a provisional second row of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, demoting the second Repsol bike of Marc Marquez to seventh ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo, with Aleix Espargaró rounding out the top ten.

Valentino Rossi was a distant 13th as his woes with the Movistar Yamaha continue, while Scott Redding was 17th despite topping FP2, Sam Lowes 19th and Bradley Smith last in 23rd.

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