Monster Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi said some traffic on his second run prevented him from posting a better lap time in qualifying at the Sepang International Circuit.
Both the factory and satellite Yamaha teams have been strong all through the weekend and that strong run continued in qualifying with factory team-mate Maverick Vinales sandwiched on the front row by Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli who will start from pole and third respectively.
Rossi is the lowest Yamaha in sixth place, but the Italian said that traffic on his second run prevented him from challenging for the front row.
“All the Yamahas are very strong; this is good for us,” said the 40-year-old.
“I will start from the second row. Maybe I could have done a bit better, but we had some problems with the traffic on the second tyre. But anyway, starting from the second row isn’t so bad.”
The high track temperatures leave riders with a choice over the soft of the medium compound Michelin. When asked which tyre he is leaning towards for the race, Rossi said: “We worked a lot on rear tyre degradation and on making the rear tyre choice, because the soft and the medium are options for the race.
“We will see what we can do for tomorrow’s Warm Up, and after that we’ll see for the race, though we’re hoping for a dry race.”