Maverick Viñales
News News 29 January 2018

Movistar Yamaha Teammates Top Second Sepang Test Day

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track today to continue work at the first official IRTA test of the 2018 season, held at the Sepang International Circuit. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi again worked diligently to improve their 2018 YZR-M1s, and the results echoed the positive rider feedback. They finished the second day in first and second place respectively.

Similar to yesterday morning, the MotoGP riders waited for the track to dry before they ventured out just before 12 o'clock local track time.

Viñales had a busy schedule again. His strategy remained the same as for Day 1: put in a lot of laps to work on tyre wear. He initially headed out on the same bike as yesterday to get a feel for the conditions, before he gave the new fairing a try. Throughout the second day of testing the Spaniard noticed improvement in the consistency of his lap times. He put his YZR-M1 to the test during the final stages of the eight-hour session and posted a 1'59.355s on lap 66/68 for top billing, with a 0.035s margin.

Trying to make up for lost time due to the overnight rain, Rossi also made strides in the afternoon. He only needed about half an hours' time to drop a 1'59.766s, set on lap 12, to take over at the top of the timesheets. Back into the rhythm, he proceeded work on his bike's setting as well as the tyre wear. He spent a long time in second place on the provisional timesheets, until the pace quickened at the end of the day. The Doctor joined in on the action and briefly went top with a 1'59.390s attempt on lap 38/39, before his teammate pushed him to second place.

Today's efforts see Viñales and Rossi also hold first and second place respectively in the combined day 1-2 standings, leaving them in a positive mindset to complete the testing schedule tomorrow.

Maverick Viñales

Position: 1st - Time: 1:59.355 - Laps: 68

"The second day went really well. I felt really good with the bike. We've been working especially on the electronics, but there's still work to do. We have a long way to go to set up the electronics correctly, but I'm happy with the steps we've made. We tried to work in hot conditions, especially around midday and we'll follow the same plan tomorrow. We're trying to improve a lot in hot conditions, to solve the problems we had last year. I think it was a positive day and I'm ready to work some more tomorrow."

Valentino Rossi

Position: 2nd - Time: 1:59.390 - Laps: 39

" I'm happy about the second day because we worked well and finished our programme for today. We tried some big and small details and some things were good and some things were less good. For example, I like the aerodynamics, and I was able to improve my pace and lap times. I think I did my personal best here in Sepang today, because a 1'59.3s is good. It's very tight, all the top riders are very strong, so that will be interesting. I'm very happy to be there at the front. I like the fairing more than last year's because I have more protection and - because I'm a bit big and tall - that's what I need, so that's good. The ducts - that are not wings - are good because the bike has less wheelie and that gives us more front contact. It looks like we're also quite fast in the straight and so it was a good day."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"We've made further progress today. We lost a few hours of testing time in the morning, but we're still on schedule. On the first day we tried to confirm our earlier found data and on the second day of testing we wanted to add onto it. Maverick and Vale were really focused on riding with used tyres, and so far it looks like improvements have been made on tyre wear. They have a good feeling on the bike and were also able to test a new aerodynamic fairing with positive results. The mini time-attack at the end of the day put us in first and second place, which is great for the team. More importantly, we're working in the right direction as we prepare for longer runs. We still need about four or five dry hours of testing tomorrow in order to finish our schedule."

Tech3 Duo Displays Significant Progress on Day Two of Testing

Monster Yamaha Tech3's Johann Zarco continued to impress on Monday at the Sepang International Circuit, the second day of pre-season testing in 2018. The French rider improved by more than 0.7 seconds in order to hit his target, well arriving inside the 59's.

However, Yonny Hernandez did well to further adapt his riding style to the Yamaha YZR-M1 and gradually finds his way back to the highly-competitive MotoGP field. The 29-year-old lowered his lap time from day one by about half a second.

Johann Zarco

Position: 6th - Time: 1’59.702 - Laps: 48

"What we saw from the first day, the bike is able to be very consistent, but yesterday I felt it was not fast enough. On my last lap today though, I have been very quick and was able to clock a really good time. Obviously, the other riders increased their pace in the last 30 minutes. Anyway, we can be happy, as we reached our goal to be under the 2 minutes bracket. There are many positives to take away from today, although it has not been easy to find solutions in some areas we wanted to improve. It's the first winter test of this year, therefore it's truly important to work on the bike rather than just try to set a fast lap time. For now, I have to rest a bit and sleep well and tomorrow we want to try some different things to be able to give even more feedback."

Yonny Hernandez

Position: 25th - Time: 2’01.554 - Laps: 49

"On day two we found a small improvement and I'm happy about that. Compared to yesterday, we also lowered our lap time by half a second, which is another positive point. Clearly, this is not the position we want to be in, but today we understood more and more aspects about the bike. I just focused on riding the Yamaha, plus I also did some good work with used tyres, which is very important. I learned to ride the bike on it, used the traction control a lot and trying to figure out how the medium and the soft tyres perform. I'm pleased that we are improving day by day, exit by exit, just doing as many kilometers as possible. The goal for tomorrow is the same like today; learning a lot and trying to reduce the gap to the top."