Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today to try new items for their YZR-M1s. The team-mates finished in 1st and 14th place respectively in the timesheets.
For the test, the Yamaha Factory riders were each able to evaluate new electronics and a new exhaust, both aimed at making the acceleration smoother, as well as some new prototype Michelin tyres.
After an abrupt end to his Catalunya challenge yesterday, Viñales was keen to get back on his bike. His goal for today was to find an improvement in acceleration. He focused on this task for most of the session but couldn‘t help but put in a time attack at the very end. The Spaniard rode a total of 98 laps and set a best time of the day, a 1‘38.967s, on his final try. He was the only rider to get under the 1‘39-mark and finished 0.047s ahead of his closest rival.
Rossi also made strides during the test. He started the day a little after eleven and got straight down to business. He focused on fine-tuning his bike and comparing the testing options, and rode most of his stints on hard tyre specs to work on race pace. His efforts resulted in positive findings and after completing 71 laps, he ended the day in 14th place with a fastest lap of 1‘39.968s, 1.001s from the top.
Following today’s progress, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will evaluate the gained data in preparation for the Motul TT Assen held in two weeks‘ time.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“We tried some different things, especially with the electronics, traction control, and engine brake, to make some improvements. We also tried some mechanical things, some parts on the bike. Some things were good, others normal, but overall, we found something positive. We worked a bit with an eye on the future, also for next year and also for the next race, so we noticed a small difference already and I hope we can be faster. The Michelin tyres are fantastic! They did a good job, because they improved the grip in acceleration. You can open the throttle earlier and go faster, so the new tyres are better.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team
“I’m quite satisfied about the test, not because of the lap time, but because of the way we handled this test, because it was important to try many things. The whole team put in hard work and we changed many parts of the bike. To end at the top is important for us, also for the mechanics, who worked very hard today. But the most important thing is that my feeling on the bike was really good and let’s see if we can keep this momentum, which we had here in Barcelona, going at the next race in Assen. We changed the settings on the bike quite a lot because we think we found one area here that helped us for the race, and it seemed to work, so we will continue to work in that direction and get more confidence on the bike. The feedback on the new Michelin tyres is good. The grip from the tyres is good, so I was able to do really good laps, and I hope they will bring these tyres in the future, because for our bike that will help a lot. But for now we are in 2019 and we keep improving race by race.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“After the unlucky end to the Catalan Grand Prix weekend, it‘s important to get straight back into the saddle again, with the same motivation we always have. Today‘s weather and track conditions were similar to those of the previous days, so this gave us the opportunity to compare our testing items with the data we collected over the weekend. Our main goal was to evaluate the new electronics, try the exhaust again, and improve the smoothness of the acceleration. Both riders mainly focused only on this objective. Some parts they liked more than others, but they gave positive feedback overall. They are especially enthusiastic about the new prototype Michelin rear tyres. Maverick had time to put in a time attack at the end and topped the timesheets, but the feeling on the bike in general is the most important today. Since both riders feel good on the bike, we feel confident as we prepare for the next race in two weeks‘ time.”