Movistar Yamaha Get Back To Business at the Buriram Test
.Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales were keen to get reunited with their YZR-M1s today at the start of the Buriram MotoGP Official Test. The teammates were back on track to build on the results from the three-day Sepang test held a few weeks ago.
The first day of testing at the Chang International Circuit was a special occasion for Rossi, who celebrates his 39th birthday today, but he wasn't having a lie-in. He entered the track at 10:14am local time, eager to make it a memorable occasion.
The Doctor completed 74 laps in total, which he used to re-assess various items he had tried earlier at the Sepang test. Though his focus was on analysing his bike's behaviour, he still managed to enjoy his birthday, doing what he loves most. The Italian wrapped up the first day in eighth place with a best lap time of 1'31.189s, set on lap 68, 0.392s from the front.
Viñales made his typical early bird start as the second pre-season test got underway at 9:30am local time. As this is the MotoGP field's first time trying the Buriram track, the Spaniard didn't waste a second to make full use of the opportunity. He fine-tuned his bike's settings in the morning, working on his pace and corner entry, before taking a break at 01:30pm.
The young gun continued his efforts later in the afternoon. He completed 70 laps in total. In the final hour of testing, he set his fastest time of the day, a 1'31.294s on lap 67, for 11th place, 0.497s from the top of the standings.
Position: 8th - Time: 1'31.189 - Laps: 74
"The last three or four years, I think I always rode the M1 on my birthday. From one point of view it's a bit difficult, because you have to work, but from another point of view this is the best way to spend my birthday, riding the M1. It's hard work, as always, especially as at this track we're very close. The first impression is not so bad, especially with the track I expected maybe worse, but it's quite good. We have to work a lot, especially on acceleration."
Position: 11th - Time: 1'31.294 - Laps: 70
"We've been trying a lot of things with the bike all day long, like we did in Malaysia. We haven't found the right way yet, but anyway we have still time to work hard and find the best direction to work in. I like the track a lot, it fits my riding style quite well with these flowing corners. Like I said, we have to continue working, so I couldn't push, but I think that on the first day we have to be relaxed, try to work and find out some things to try for tomorrow."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"We've been very impressed with the track and the facilities of the Buriram circuit, it's very different from what we imagined it to be. Trying a new track for the first time is always exciting. We had quite an intense programme ahead of us, but we didn't have the start we hoped for. We weren't expecting to have such a difficult day, because it looks like this track should suit us well. The riders were suffering from different problems and this doesn't help us find a common solution. Nevertheless, we have two more working days to fix the issues and make the riders feel more comfortable."
Zarco and Syahrin Discover New Territory in Thailand
For the first time ever, the MotoGP World Championship went to the Chang International Circuit this week, where Monster Yamaha Tech3's Johann Zarco immediately found a fast way around the 4.554km long track and Hafizh Syahrin got his first taste of the Yamaha YZR-M1.
Following a first inspection on Thursday, Zarco was rapidly amongst the fastest riders at the new venue. The French star concluded the first hot day in Buriram merely half a second behind the fastest rider, in 12th position. Meanwhile, Syahrin had the hard mission to adapt to the MotoGP machine and the new circuit at the same time, but mastered his task impressively and completed his debut with a best lap time of 1'33.165 minutes.
Position: 12th - Time: 1’31.305 - Laps: 67
"I'm really happy about the new track. The layout is nice and better than I expected. The position doesn't look perfect in the end, but it's only five tenths from the top guys. The gap between all of us where incredibly tight. I didn't give my all to do in a fast lap time, because I know I have five days to do that. With a used tyre on the last outing I had a good feeling and we already found a comfortable base. We worked truly well today and I know that I can still improve."
Position: 24th - Time: 1’33.165 - Laps: 70
"Today was my first day in MotoGP and we did an amazing job together with the team. I feel really good, with the bike, with my guys, who they work. I have an absolutely positive first impression. Which each time, we went out on track, we were able to improve the lap time, which is very important to me. I try to keep going like this, gaining more confidence with the bike. Today we did many laps and some start practices. Thereby, it was interesting to find out how the launch control and the traction control works, but for sure I still need more confidence with it."