Button hopeful for race day after qualifying eighth

1 Comment
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

While still maintaining that McLaren is behind on pace compared to the other front-runners, Jenson Button is hopeful that he’ll have an advantage for race day on Sunday in Shanghai after utilizing the medium tires during the final round of Saturday’s qualifying sessions.

“All the guys in front will be starting on grained soft-compound tires, and I think we’re going to see the high-fuel graining on the soft [tires] that we saw in practice [Friday], so it’s going to be an extremely interesting race,” said Button, who will start alongside Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in Row 4.

“The first 10 laps tomorrow are going to be eventful; if I can get a good start, I’ll hopefully be able to find some clear air in front of me, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Button’s slow timed lap of 2 minutes, 5.273 seconds in Q3 was by design in an attempt to make up spots on the grid during the aforementioned opening stint of the race.

“It’s such a difficult call,” Button explained. “The racer in you wants to go out…In Q2, we were relatively quick — P7 was a slight surprise, we were quicker than we expected. I felt we got everything out of the car.

“We went for the prime direction. It was a bit of cat and mouse at the end to see who actually does a lap.”

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.