After a successful first outing around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the track today to continue their preparations for the 2017 MotoGP season.
Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team seamlessly picked up where they left off yesterday in Australia. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made the most of the sunny weather conditions on the second day of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. The pair worked on their race pace and compared chassis, ending the day in first and eighth place respectively in the timesheets.
Viñales kept up his impressive form today, showing he is also a force to be reckoned with at the flowing and fast Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Just over an hour into the session he became the first rider to drop into the 128s, setting a 128.847s on lap 21.
With his time-attack out of the way, he used the remaining time of todays eight-hour session to work on the race pace. The young Spaniard posted several series of consecutive 129s laps to underline his protagonist status. He completed a total of 80 laps, all the while remaining unchallenged at the top of the timesheets and left the track this evening as the fastest man, with a comfortable 0.462s lead over his closest rival.
Teammate Rossi also got his head down today to take the development of his YZR-M1 another step further. He spent the morning session getting a feel for the track and soon worked his way up to fifth place before he moved on to trying new Michelin tyres.
The Doctor completed 43 laps before lunch, but it wasnt all work and no play. After his morning stints, the Italian celebrated his 38th birthday at the Phillip Island track with his crew and a birthday cake.
Back on track in the afternoon, the Doctor completed another 27 laps as he crossed various items off his testing schedule. Whilst trying new bike modifications he was unable to improve on his time from this morning. His best lap, a 129.674s, earned him eighth place in the timesheets, 0.827s behind his teammate.
Massimo Meregalli - Team director, Yamaha Motor Racing
"It was a positive second day of testing for us. We used this session to work mainly on the chassis to make comparisons and try different settings. We also tried a new front fork with both riders and two new tyres for Michelin. Even if we didnt do a race simulation, we completed a lot of laps on used tyres. Today Maverick was more comfortable on his bike compared to yesterday and he has been able to post laps under the 129s mark and set the fastest lap of 128.847s. He followed this up with an impressive pace that he kept going throughout the day. Valentino had a good start this morning and set his best lap. He continued this competitive pace in the morning, but in the afternoon he faced some difficulties, trying different settings that didnt give the expected results. We have been able to do almost everything on our scheduled testing programme, so tomorrow will be our race simulation day for both riders."
Maverick Viñales - 1st 1'28.847 / 80 LAPS
"Today we focused a lot on the race pace and honestly we did a great job, we made a big step compared to yesterday. Im feeling more comfortable on the track and Im getting more grip from the tyres. I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do. We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us. For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldnt beat the lap time I set this morning, but Im happy anyway. Ive been fast with both chassis and all the time Im riding 129-low and 129-medium. Like I said, weve made a big step today and well try to make another step tomorrow."
Valentino Rossi - 8th 1'29.674 / 70 LAPS
"It was a difficult day for us, especially in the afternoon. This morning was not so bad. We tried some different tyres but we especially focused on the pace and it was quite good. This afternoon we had some important tests to do, try a long run and modify something on the bike, but unfortunately it didnt work well and I wasnt fast enough. It looks like we followed the wrong direction, so after the interviews well go back to the box to try to understand better for tomorrow and we hope that we can improve. Being in Phillip Island with the good weather and riding the M1 all day is always difficult, because its hard work, but its also a great pleasure, so I think this is a good birthday gift."
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