Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
“MOVISTAR YAMAHA CONTINUE DEVELOPMENT ON DAY2 AT SEPANG”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi carried out their testing programme in a positive fashion today. Despite challenging track conditions, the teammates took second and fourth place respectively in the time sheets on the second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit whilst working their way through a list of new items..
Sepang (Malaysia), 31st January 2017
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back in action today at the Sepang International Circuit for the second of the three track days that mark the start of 2017 MotoGP racing activity. They continued to work through a number of different testing materials, taking second and fourth place respectively in today‘s time sheets.
The riders had to be patient at the start of the eight-hour session. Damp track conditions made for a four-hour wait before they could put their 2017 YZR-M1s to the test.
Once the track had dried sufficiently, Viñales was keen to head out and continued his hunt for the perfect set-up. He soon found a good rhythm and he comfortably began to chip away at his time. After one and a half hours he posted a best lap of 2‘00.646s to temporarily take over the top of the standings before the pace of the other riders picked up.
In the meantime, the young Spaniard proceeded to test the new fairing in order to be able to compare data with his teammate, but couldn‘t resist to push on his final stint. Viñales was one of only two riders to drop under the 2‘00 mark with, a 1‘59.858s and ended the day in second place, 0.406s from the front.
Rossi was also eager to work on the bike set-up to improve performance and left pit lane as soon as the circuit was dry. As one of the first riders to venture out on track, he put in 54 laps, which he used to compare the new fairing to the old version.
With his physical condition improved from yesterday, he underlined that he was back on form by being one of the few riders to improve on his best time of the day before. At the very end of the session he put in a time attack to move up to fourth place in today‘s standings, with a fastest lap of 2‘00.254s, 0.802s from first.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“Though we started late today, the test is proceeding well. We‘ve only been unlucky that we couldn‘t start early this morning. We had quite a lot of items on the programme for today and due to the delays we haven‘t been able to complete all of them. Valentino and Maverick put in a lot of effort to make the most of the dry track time. They both tested and compared the new fairing and new frame. We also made time to look further into improving rear tyre life, with positive results. So far the feedback from the riders has been good, so we are confident about the material that we are testing. Hopefully we will be able to start at 10 o‘clock tomorrow to continue our development and complete quite a full-on schedule, as we also have to try a new tyre for Michelin.”
“Today was good and I‘m so happy because we worked on our race pace and finally at the end, on the race tyre. I tried to do consistent laps, and honestly the lap times were quite fast. I‘m surprised that the bike has been working so good and, as the grip increased, we improved each time we went out. As I said, we are focusing on riding on a used tyre so I‘m quite happy with second place. It‘s nice to focus on one lap and be fast, but we have to be fast on all twenty laps and I think we did a good job and made a good start. I don‘t know if I will do a time attack tomorrow, it will depend on the weather and the condition of the track. You always want to see your name at the top of the list, but sometimes it‘s more useful to work towards the races.”
“I‘m feeling 100% fit again. Yesterday when I went to sleep I still had a headache, but today when I woke up I felt better so I was able to put in some good work and at the end it was a good day. This morning we lost a lot of time waiting for the conditions to improve, but in the afternoon I could do more than 50 laps. We had some important stuff to try and more or less everything was positive. My pace was quite good and at the end I did a time attack and I‘m in fourth position, so top five is OK. We have a different frame and it was good, I like it. We haven‘t decided yet, but the first impression was positive.”