Ahead of tomorrow’s San Marino Grand Prix, Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales absolutely demolished Misano’s previous lap record to secure pole position. Misano looks to be a solid track for Yamaha, with its riders qualifying 1-2-3-4. It hasn’t been the teams best season, but this is a promising change.
Jorge Lorenzo set the most recent lap record back in 2018, a 1:31.629. Vinales shaved about two tenths from that time, coming across the line with a 1:31.411.
It was a close qualifying session overall, one that was set to break the previous lap record. Franco Morbidelli qualified second 0.312s behind Vinales, with third and fourth places going to Fabio Quartararo and Valentino Rossi, respectively. This is the first time in MotoGP history that Yamaha has swept the top four qualifying positions.
Vinales was so excited that he accidentally detonated the airbag in his race suit during his celebrations.
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Vinales set the first flying lap of the qualifying session, and while he didn’t always maintain the lead, he was certainly the rider to beat. He and Morbidelli went back and forth trading fast laps, but it was ultimately Vinales who prevailed.
It’s a great result for Vinales, who currently sits fifth in the championship standings. At 48 points, he has a long way to go to catch up to Quartararo in first with 70, but it isn’t impossible. Of the five races so far this season, Vinales has two second place finishes and two pole positions, and his retirement from the Styrian Grand Prix was through no fault of his own. Having realized that his brakes were failing, he was forced to jump off his bike to avoid even worse disaster. That result is likely responsible for Vinales’ current position in the standings.
2020 has been a fairly unpredictable one for the MotoGP series, so it’s difficult to predict who will take home the victory on Sunday. But Vinales’s strong starting position can only help him in his championship pursuit.