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Monster Energy Yamaha Kick Off 2020 Testing Program in Malaysia

Monster Energy Yamaha Kick Off 2020 Testing Program in Malaysia

Today, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team got back into action after the winter break. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi rode 49 and 48 laps respectively, ending the first day of the Sepang MotoGP Official Test in sixth and tenth place.

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back where they belong, aboard their YZR-M1s, on the first official IRTA MotoGP testing day of 2020. The riders got down to business immediately in the typical Sepang International Circuit heat. They faced wet conditions at times but worked tirelessly, ending in sixth and tenth place respectively in the Day 1 timesheets.

Having presented this year‘s line-up at the Sepang track yesterday, the team was in high spirits. They commenced their 2020 testing programme with three bikes for each rider.

Viñales was greatly motivated to get back into action, knowing he had various setting options to try today. The Spaniard suffered a small crash just before lunch, but little damage was done. After his planned midday break, he completed his afternoon stint without any trouble. He ran 49 laps in total, securing sixth place with a 1‘59.367s, 0.422s from first, and ended the day with positive feelings.

Eager to be back aboard his YZR-M1 again after the winter break, Rossi also had a good day at the office. He quickly got into the swing of things in the morning before moving on to improving the settings of the YZR-M1 in the afternoon. He rode 48 laps over the course of eight hours of high-temperature and occasionally rainy testing, and set a best lap of 1‘59.569s, taking tenth place, 0.624s from the top.

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

The riders spent the first two runs focused on getting back their feeling after more than two months of no riding. We have brought six bikes to this test to evaluate the improvements made between the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 testing. For the moment we have been able to confirm an improvement in top speed and potentially tyre life too. But there are other areas that need to be improved, which is to be expected at the start of the season. Tomorrow we will also test other new items that have already been tried by the testing team these last few days.

Maverick Viñales

We are working very hard. Honestly, it's difficult to draw a conclusion already, because it's only the first day. The feeling has been great, a 1'59s lap here is always really good for me. I had the feeling I expected on the bike. We need to keep going so we can try to understand many things, because we have a lot of things to test, especially tomorrow. On the third day I will concentrate a bit more on myself. On the second day I will be trying many parts, so it will be difficult to get a clear conclusion again. But the first day of training in the heat was good. I'm happy because I felt good on the bike straight away, which is always very positive. I rode fast, I had a good rhythm, and I can't wait for tomorrow.

Valentino Rossi

It was a difficult day, especially because of the conditions. It rained, so we didn‘t finish our programme, but anyway we were able to do a little less than 50 laps. My time over one lap and my position aren‘t fantastic, but we worked well. We have the M1 2020, which is different, so we need to get to know it better. The first feeling is positive, but we have to work because some things are better, and some are worse. But I‘m happy about the first day. You always work on the chassis, the engine, and the electronics. The 2020 bike is a bit different to ride, so we need to get a better understanding. From a certain point of view, we have a margin for improvement, but on the other hand we are already not so bad and the feeling with the bike is quite positive.