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Good pace for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP On Qatar test day 1

Good pace for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP On Qatar test day 1

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have set up camp at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar to conduct the final three-day official IRTA preseason test before the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi resumed their preseason testing plan today at the MotoGP Official Test Losail, securing third and seventh place respectively.

The pair started their first runs a little before 16h00 local time (GMT+3), with four hours left on the clock, to begin their final preparation for the first round of the 2020 MotoGP season, that will be held at the same circuit in Qatar in two weeks’ time.

Viñales needed just a few laps to get up to speed, slotting into second place on his sixth try, and three runs later took over the top spot. His good feeling with his YZR-M1 remained throughout the session whilst establishing his race set-up. He went on to set a fastest time of 1’54.494s on lap 31/50, which remained unchallenged until the final half hour of testing when some rivals put in a time attack. He concluded the day in third place, 0.032s from first.

Rossi also had a productive outing under the Qatar floodlights. His plan was to stick to confirming the findings the team had gained at the Sepang Test to make sure they would also work at the dustier Losail track. He completed 51 laps in total, and once he got into the rhythm he remained inside the top 10 for the entire session. He focused on his race set-up and consistently improved his times as well as the feeling with his bike, giving positive feedback. He set a best lap of 1’54.876s and took seventh position in the standings, 0.414s from P1.

Tomorrow’s session will again be held from 13h00 – 20h00 local track time.

Maverick Vinales

I felt comfortable on the bike straight away. I think, compared to Malaysia, I feel much better on the bike. We were trying many things today which were important to clarify for the race here in Qatar. Actually, I’m very happy about the work we did today. I need more laps to understand the bike better, find ways to push the bike with new or used tyres. But I think we're on the right path. With the new bike we are faster in top speed, in some areas I can be faster than last year, so that is very positive. With just a few laps on this track we are already close to the level we were at last year. The rhythm is much better. During the race is when you can finally see everything, but I feel positive and I feel confident about the bike. It’s a good sign that we are doing a good job, not only on the track but also in the box. 

Valentino Rossi

It is a positive day because we confirmed what we saw in Sepang. At the end I finished in P7 but throughout the day I was quite constant and had a good pace. So, we are very happy because it looks like the bike is improving compared to last year and the first test. We work well in the box, and we were able to improve. For the fight for the victory I need a little bit more, two or three tenths in the hot lap, but also in terms of pace. Some riders are a little bit faster than me, so we have to work. But it’s just the first day, and we are already faster than last year. We have a positive feeling with the bike.

Massimo Meregalli

We always come to the Qatar Test with great motivation because once the team starts this test, we know the first race and the start of the season is near. Our goal for these three days is to confirm the progress we made at the Sepang Test, making sure the improvements we made for riding that track are also beneficial here, and to create a good set-up for the race. We received positive rider feedback so far, both see improvements compared to last year and the previous test. Losail is a very different track compared to Sepang, but both Maverick and Vale were immediately feeling comfortable today. Of course there are still some areas we would like to work on. We will continue our testing schedule tomorrow with the main intention to do a race simulation here at 18h00.