Johann Zarco was back in the saddle today for the first official MotoGP test of the year in mixed conditions at the Sepang International Circuit. The French star used the full eight hours of testing to get used to the power and the speed of his Yamaha YZR-M1 again, finishing the day in 8th position.
Meanwhile Yonny Hernandez experienced a first taste of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine. Following a long absence from the premier class the Columbian rider got into a steady rhythm in the course of the day.
Position: 8th – Time: 2’00.421 – Laps: 62
“It was a good opening day. We started the day in wet conditions and my feeling was positive in these conditions. I began the day slowly and got re-used to the speed step by step. Compared to the race here in the wet, my feeling was positive and I felt competitive, plus I had a really good control of the bike. Later on, we had nearly ideal conditions, there were not many patches on the track. From last year, I feel a great potential with the used tyre. We don’t have a big drop, which is fantastic news to prepare the entire season. Now we need a better performance with the new tyre to get into the 59’s. Therefore, we just need to understand a few more things, but take it easy.”
Position: 23rd – Time: 2’02.053 – Laps: 47
“This morning we had some difficult weather conditions, but later in the afternoon it was completely dry. I just wanted to try to understand the bike, the team, how the tyres work. In the end, we improved with every outing and overall, I’m quite satisfied with our work today. For sure, it’s not the position I wish to be in, but for the opening day, it’s ok, as I haven’t sat on a MotoGP bike for two years. I just tried to build my rhythm, do some laps, to understand the bike to get to know everything. In the beginning, I used the soft tyre and we improved a little bit. For tomorrow I hope we can progress even more and I can lap faster.”