What had looked like being a positive day for the Repsol Moto3 riders was turned on its head this Saturday afternoon with the arrival of rainfall at the Sachsenring. The trio of Maverick ViÃ±ales, Ãlex Rins and Miguel Oliveira had been looking strong in the morning session –undertaken in dry conditions– but found the wet track in qualifying for the German Grand Prix excessively difficult and placed 24th, 27th and 30th. Thus, a comeback is needed on raceday for the three Moto3 stars.
A downpour at the end of the final Moto2 free practice session was little help for ViÃ±ales, Rins and Oliveira, who finished far down the order in qualifying. The trio had been especially competitive in the dry morning session, with ViÃ±ales first, Rins third and Oliveira eighth.
Under heavy rain, the three riders began qualifying in prudent fashion, gradually upping their pace. However, it was obvious that ViÃ±ales, Rins and Oliveira were not feeling comfortable with the amount of water on track. They ended the session in 24th, 27th and 30th, leaving them low down on the grid for tomorrow’s race at 14:30 local time –following the Moto2 and MotoGP contests.
FP3 – 1:28.159, 16 laps, 59 km.
QP – 1:46.602, 18 laps, 66 km.
“We don’t know what happened and even I can’t understand it. In qualifying I couldn’t enter the corners well –especially the left handers– and was sliding all over the place. It only got worse as the laps went by. We shall see what the weather is like tomorrow, but we will be focusing on riding our own race; the conditions will dictate whether we attack early or wait. In any case, we need a good start. If the race is dry then it will be a little easier, because we have a good pace and setting. If it is wet, then we will need to push a little harder.”
FP3 – 1:29.146, 16 laps, 59 km.
QP – 1:47.565, 18 laps, 66 km.
“We normally go well in the wet, but at times we have a good feel and other days it just doesn’t come for us. Unfortunately, today was one of those days in which we never felt comfortable, so I was riding for the whole session without the necessary confidence to be at the front. We were losing time on corner entry and corner exit, as I couldn’t open the throttle comfortably. Despite this, in the dry we rode well and hope that we can have those conditions again for the race. I hope to get a good start and make up places if that happens, in order to get to the end of the race in a strong position. If it rains, the aim will just be to stay upright until the finish.”
FP3 – 1:28.984, 17 laps, 62 km.
QP – 1:46.988, 21 laps, 77 km.
“It’s been a difficult day for everyone. It is very difficult to get the right feel with the bike in these conditions, as Sachsenring is a slow circuit with all over it. We have to improve in the wet, as the lack of feel is present with both the front and rear. We have the pace to be up with the front group if the race is dry. Should it rain, we will have to use the warmup to improve on all fronts.”