Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have completed the Jerez MotoGP Official Test, the last riding day of 2018. Continuing their testing schedule, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the allotted time making a final assessment of the new engine specs, setting the 3rd and 11th fastest time of the day respectively.
Viñales used today’s session at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto to the full, as he was keen to make a final decision on the new engine spec. The Spaniard mainly focused on race pace again, riding a total of 78 laps, mostly with used tyres. As the session progressed, so did his efforts. When he decided to push hard on a flying lap, he set a 1’38.066s. This hot lap earned him third place in the Day 2 results and fourth place in the combined timesheets, 0.121s from first.
Rossi also had a productive day at the office, finding a better feeling and pace than he had the day before. The Italian had already shared that he would be taking an in-depth look at the data to make a decision on the engine spec. After a total of 67 laps today, he has come to a clear decision on which direction to work in. His best lap, a 1’38.596s put him in 11th position in both the Day 2 and the combined results, 0.651s from the top.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have now completed all 2018 riding action. The next test will be held after the winter break, at the Sepang International Circuit, early February.
Position: 3rd – Time: 1’38.066
“So far, I think we’ve kept a really good rhythm, because we always got a lot out of used tyres, and I’m actually really happy because when I finally pushed for one lap, the bike responded quite well. I know we could improve the chassis quite a lot, now we’ve focused a lot on the engines, so for me it’s quite clear. Let’s see after the meeting what we decide to do. For sure, we always have to improve, but the important thing was to find the base, and now I think for Malaysia we have to improve the top speed, this will be important for the long tracks. I think over all we have a competitive bike.”
Position: 11th – Time: 1’38.596
“Today was a good day because we worked more in detail and we improved. My pace was not so bad and the feeling with the bike was quite good. From the start we knew we had to decide on the engine spec and we have already decided. I think the situation is quite clear.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“Though we weren’t able to use all of the available track time due to the cold temperatures in the morning on both days, the test proceeded well. After completing 60% of the programme earlier in Valencia, we had quite a full-on programme here in Jerez, because we intended to make a decision on the engine specs at the end of these two days. Both Maverick and Vale have given clear feedback and have agreed on a direction, so I think we’re close to making a decision. There do remain some different points of view on certain aspects, which we will work on clarifying during the 2019 pre-season tests, but for now we have a sense of which base we should work with. We were looking for smooth power delivery and engine brake, which is especially something Maverick was asking for, because it suits his riding style. We also worked on improving the tyre life, which was a concern during the 2018 season. We’ve made progress, but we need to keep working. The engineers in Italy and Japan will go over the data thoroughly to come up with further steps to try at the first upcoming test in Sepang, at the start of February, next year.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team sign off from 2018 in style
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team enjoyed a successful final test of the year as they continued their preparations for 2019 with a two-day session at the Jerez Circuit – Angel Nieto. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo today took further steps forward in their adaptation to the Yamaha, each showing great potential as they ended the test in 6th and 12th place respectively.
The pair spent this morning working on race pace before pushing for a fast lap in the afternoon, enjoying positive results in both aspects. Morbidelli again showed his high level as he rose into the top three positions with an hour remaining, thanks to his lap of 1’38.118. Eventually dropping to 6th position after a total of 68 laps, Franco remained within two tenths of the fastest lap of the day. Quartararo enjoyed his best day so far on the Yamaha since his debut last week. Gaining confidence in acceleration and in corner entry, the French rookie made his first appearance in the top ten with a best effort of 1’38.761 out of his 58 laps, before ending the day in twelfth.
Both riders will now enjoy a two-month winter break before MotoGP returns to action with more preseason tests in February 2019, starting at the team’s home track of Sepang.
Position: 6th – Time: 1’38.118
“Today has been a very productive day. We have tried some different set-up configurations and managed to improve the race pace this morning and then the lap time this afternoon, so I am very happy about that. The two tests we have had with the team have been very positive and I feel very comfortable with the team and the people from Yamaha. We can say that we have started the preseason well, so over the winter we can study the information we have gathered and try to make the 2019 bike even better.”
Position: 12th – Time: 1’38.761
“On this last day of the test we have improved the feeling and the lap time. We have taken a step forward and managed to try some things with the electronics, which up until now we had hardly touched. The biggest gain has been on the first contact with the throttle, in acceleration and also in corner entry. Today I could feel that the lap times were coming down and I felt fast, it was a really nice feeling. We knew that the more laps we could do with the Yamaha, the more we were going to improve. My objective today was a 1’38 lap and we did three of them. We are working on our pace, little by little, and gradually closing the gap to the fastest guys. I am really happy with how these few days have gone here in Jerez and this first phase of the 2019 preseason, so my thanks to all the team for the work they have done. Now I’m just looking forward to February!”
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Manager
“We can say that I am a happy Team Manager. After just two tests everything is going pretty well for the team and in terms of the lap times we are competing with the fastest guys. To have Franco [Morbidelli] finish sixth and Fabio [Quartararo] twelfth is much more than we could have hoped for. In general, we are very satisfied with the results. There has been no pressure and no problems, and our riders are happy and fast.
As far as this winter is concerned we have a lot to do to get ready for Sepang, because we are competing against teams with more than 25 years of experience in the paddock and we are still new. To be competitive you need a good bike and good riders and we have that, but we also need to grow as an organisation until we reach the maximum in every aspect.”