Movistar Yamaha Tops Second Qatar Test Day
(Saturday, 11 March 2017)
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team was back on track today for the second day of the MotoGP Official Test Losail. Though the day was not without challenges, the Factory Yamaha crew persevered. Maverick Viñales was quick to get up to pace and topped the timesheets, just slightly ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi in second.
Careful progress over the winter paved the way for a positive outcome for Viñales today. He built on his strong result from previous tests in an effortless fashion to top the timesheets early on in the session and he successfully defended his lead from a late charging Rossi and Jonas Folger, resulting in a Yamaha top 3.
Clearly happy with his race set-up, the Spaniard spent most of the day fine-tuning his YZR-M1 in order to be 100% ready for the upcoming first MotoGP round in Qatar. The Spaniard concluded the second day with a total of 49 laps and a fastest time of 1’54.455s under his belt, earning him first place in the combined standings.
Teammate Rossi proceeded to better his feeling with the Michelin front tyre, especially on corner entry. He tried various setting modifications to improve braking stability and made a comparison between set-ups to get a clear sense of which direction he will work on tomorrow.
The Doctor had some bad luck when he suffered a lowside crash in the earlier stages of the session, sustaining small cuts on his left hand. However, it didn‘t stop the Italian from signing off with a 1’54.732s for second place in the combined results, set on lap 37, an hour before the end of the session.
Tomorrow the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back on track from 16:00 - 23:00 local track time.
Today was a good and productive day for us, which shows in the results. We, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team, secured a 1-2, and it was a top three for Yamaha, showing the strength of the YZR-M1. We got a lot of work done today and this provides us with a good understanding of what final things we need to address tomorrow. Maverick is very comfortable with his bike-setting and shaping up nicely for the race weekend. He‘s looking very competitive already, posting quick and consistent lap times, and we are confident that with the last tweaks on the setting tomorrow we can make another step. Vale suffered a crash at the beginning of the session, which damaged his first bike but was a blessing in disguise. Though he injured his hand slightly, the incident forced him to continue work on his second bike, which gave him the feeling with the front that he had been looking for during the winter season, enabling him to make a good step today. Our testing schedule is almost completed, tomorrow we aim to do a race simulation with both riders, which will give us important information for the upcoming racing weekend.
I feel good. We need some further improvements, but anyway, I felt good from the first day, so I tried to do my best. We‘re trying to keep the lap times really consistent and on the same pace. Today we made another step and I hope tomorrow we can improve a little bit more, but I think we can be happy about our set-up and if the race was right now, we would be ready, for sure. I still want to improve on the braking points to be faster, but we still have tomorrow to continue testing.
We did some big modifications and on the second exit in turn 7 I lost the front. Unfortunately I have some pain, a few holes in my fingers, but I’m OK. We improved the pace and the lap times a lot. We also bettered the feeling with the bike. I suffered a lot during the winter test and I was never really strong, so today‘s lap time is important. Tomorrow we‘ll try to continue the pace like this to understand our level. From the first time on the new bike, I didn‘t have enough feeling on the front, especially to enter the corner fast. We modified a lot of things. I have to say thank you to Yamaha, they gave me a lot of support, especially after the test in Phillip Island, which was very bad. We have arrived at the front now, so it‘s OK. We just have to modify the bike, the setting and everything.