Sport Renewed calls for MotoGP qualifying format change

16:45  21 april  2017
16:45  21 april  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Vinales not angry after Rossi incident

  Vinales not angry after Rossi incident Maverick Vinales has said that he is not angry with Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi, after the pair came close to contact in qualifying. Rossi was on the racing line on a slow lap when Maverick came up behind him early in QP2. The Spaniard was hot on the heels of Honda’s Marc Marquez’s time, but had to slow down to avoid hitting Rossi, Vinales gesticulating angrily towards the Italian. However, the championship leader admitted immediately after qualifying that the incident was nothing more than a misunderstandings, his reaction brought about in the heat of the moment. “There were many riders on track,” he said. “I’m not angry at what happened today. When you’re riding a good lap it’’s normal, riders are like this. “There are no bad feelings between me and Valentino. This is a normal thing that can happen, I’m not complaining. It can happen to me as well, maybe one day I’m in the middle.” Vinales will line up second on the grid tomorrow, as the Spaniard aims to make it three wins from three in the 2017 MotoGP season. The Spaniard has proven more than a match for Marquez this weekend, who up until this year has come under no threat at the Circuit of the Americas. Despite narrowly missing pole by just over a tenth of a second, Vinales is confident of being able to challenge in Sunday’s 21-lap race. “We still have tomorrow to improve. We will be working hard this night to find a new set-up to try and stop the bike better, but I think we did a great job and we can be there for sure. Pushing 100% from lap one until the last lap I think will be the best strategy.

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Ahead of the third round of the 2017 MotoGP season in Texas, several riders have expressed their desire to have the current qualifying format altered.

Introduced for the 2013 season in a bid to make free practice more interesting for spectators, MotoGP’s qualifying session is split into two 15-minute shoot-out sessions, with combined times from practice deciding who takes part in what session.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

At the end of free practice three, the top 10 on the combined times make direct passage into the pole shoot-out session, while the rest contest QP1, with the fastest two from that session making it into QP2.

Marquez: Alonso's decision 'difficult' to understand

  Marquez: Alonso's decision 'difficult' to understand Three-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says Fernando Alonso’s decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix in order to compete in the Indianapolis 500 is “difficult to understand.” The Spaniard, who currently trails championship leader Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales by 37 points after two rounds, was surprised by the news. “The decision on my side is difficult to understand because Monaco is one of the good tracks that maybe with McLaren he can get a good result,” Marquez said. “[The Indy 500] is a race that’s difficult to understand from outside.You must be really lucky, slipstream is very strange. “But the talent of Alonso, all of the drivers in Formula 1 say is one of the best ones in a car. “His talent is there, I think he’ll be really fast.” One of Marquez’s closest rivals MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi, was also shocked at Alonso’s choice and admits it will be a real challenge. “It was a surprise because it’s strange that Alonso won’t race in Monaco,” Rossi said. “But I think the situation with the car [McLaren] is difficult and he wants to try something else. “It will be very interesting to understand the potential of Alonso at Indy because it’s completely another world, especially when you race on the oval. “The one time I went [on an oval] with NASCAR and it was very interesting, but you understand it’s very different. “It will be a great challenge and very interesting to see.

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Last year, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow called for the format to be changed, as he believed the mini qualifying runs at the end of each free practice were ‘a waste of time’, and that the majority of the field would prefer qualifying groups be decided purely on the times at the end of FP3.

Crutchlow argued that riders were disregarding tyre allocation for QP2 just so they could secure a place in the pole shoot-out group. To counter this, the Grand Prix Commission agreed to give the top two from QP1 an extra soft tyre for this season.

Former Tech 3 and Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso has joined the Briton in asking for change, as has Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding.

Dovizioso – who was caught out in Argentina by bad weather in FP3 having failed to set a top 10 time on Friday – believes, despite Friday’s running then being rendered boring for fans, it is ‘essential’ the format is altered as he feels riders are losing crucial set-up time in practice to trying to set a fast lap time.

Aron Canet continues Austin dominance by taking Moto3 pole

  Aron Canet continues Austin dominance by taking Moto3 pole Aron Canet was in a class of his own as the Spaniard took pole position for tomorrow’s Moto3 race at the Circuit of the Americas. EG 0,0 rider Canet was over a second quicker than everyone else, setting a new outright lap record of 2m14.644s in the process, and looked comfortable throughout the entire qualifying session. Behind Canet was championship leader Joan Mir, who recovered from a disappointing FP3 to go second quickest. Romano Fenati continued his pace shown in FP3, but couldn’t get anywhere near Aron Canet’s time down in third on his Ongetta Rivacold Honda. Nicolo Bulega was fourth, whilst the Gresini pair of Jorge Martin and Fabio di Giannantonio will start tomorrow from fifth and sixth. The third row will consist of a renewed Enea Bastianini, Niccolo Antonelli and John McPhee. McPhee finally got in a good time, after having dismal practice sessions that saw the Scot near the back of the field. Bo Bendsneyder was the final rider inside the top ten despite an early tumble, with Darryn Binder and rookie rider Tony Arbolino joining him on the fourth row. The Moto3 race gets underway at 17:00 BST.

Qualifying for MotoGP 's 2017 season opener in Qatar has been cancelled due to wet weather. That changed with storms and heavy rain on Saturday, and even though it stopped falling several hours Fresh calls for T-wing ban after FP2 incident Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has renewed calls

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“I am one of the riders who believes we have to change the system,” he said on Thursday at the Circuit of the Americas.

“I have pushed a lot since last year for it, but so far it hasn’t been taken into consideration. But In Argentina I went back to the subject once more, and this time I found enough support from all the riders.

“In my opinion, it’s essential that it happens. If we change the rule, Fridays become dull and worthless.

“But on the contrary, with the current system you don’t have time to work, because before the end of each session you have to set a time and get in the top 10 so you can progress.

“That means you have to use more tyres, and always work knowing that before finishing the session you have to set a time.

“In every session you make three runs, and if one of these you have to set a time, you only have two to work on the bike and you cannot try all the tyres.”

MotoGp of Argentina - Free Practice © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport MotoGp of Argentina - Free Practice

Vinales half a second clear of Marquez in Austin FP1 .
Maverick Vinales continued his perfect start to 2017 as he topped first practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas. MotoGP championship leader Vinales ended FP1 0.577s clear of Austin specialist Marc Marquez, who has traditionally dominated in previous seasons, winning all four races at the Circuit of the Americas since 2013. Marquez led team-mate Dani Pedrosa after the first runs but Vinales soon stamped his authority on proceedings, being the first and only man to dip into the 2m04s on Yamaha. Andrea Dovizioso went third ahead of Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista late on with the former using a soft rear tyre. Like Ducati team-mate Dovizioso, Lorenzo opted for the soft rear tyre and improved significantly on his initial benchmark to go sixth. Dani Pedrosa ended up seventh and was just over a second shy of Vinales’ benchmark. Like it has been for the whole of 2017, Valentino Rossi lagged well behind his younger team-mate and languished outside the top 10 before putting on two soft tyres to go eighth fastest. Aleix Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci were ninth and tenth fastest respectively. Cal Crutchlow recovered from an early crash at Turn 6 to end first practice in 11th ahead of Jack Miller. FP2 for MotoGP gets underway later this evening at 2005 BST.

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