Despite having to sit out the first three hours of available track time in the pit box again, waiting for the riding conditions to improve, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to complete most of their testing programme on the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo.
Similar to yesterday, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi both spent all their testing time getting familiar with the new engine evolution.
Following the same procedure as yesterday, Viñales made his way out on track with more than four hours on the clock. The Spaniard picked up his work on the 2019 engine spec where he had left off and, despite a small crash, proceeded to gradually better his time throughout the day. He rode a total of 57 laps and improved on his personal best from the first day by 0.659s, setting a 1’30.757s lap on his 50th try. He ended the session leading the rankings with a 0.133s advantage over his closest rival. This result puts him in first position in the combined test timesheets.
Rossi arrived at the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pit box around the same time as his teammate, heading out on track in the afternoon. The Doctor was very focused on getting his YZR-M1’s new engine in perfect shape ahead of the 2019 season. He completed 63 laps in total and set a 1’31.371s after completing two-thirds of his testing programme, which was enough to keep him in ninth position in the rankings, 0.614s from today’s best time. The lap also earned him ninth place in the overall Valencia test results, as almost all MotoGP riders improved on their best effort on the second day.
Position: 1st – Time: 1’30.757
“It has been a positive test. We’ve been working a lot on improving for the first lap of the race. I’m actually really happy because from the first lap I felt good grip and I could push. There’s still work to do to further improve the engine braking and the smoothness of the power, so that’s what we will work on in Jerez. It was unlucky that we couldn’t ride all day, like we had planned. We couldn’t test the engines very well, so we’re going to decide after Jerez which of the two we choose. As I said, we need to try more, to be more convinced about the engine decision, but I think we’re on the right track. We need to focus on the riding style and getting a smoother bike will be very important, especially when there’s no grip during the race, but there is an upgrade coming that will help a lot. In these last two days I only focused on the engine and didn’t touch anything concerning the setting. I think we could have improved the set-up for Valencia a lot, but I’m happy that just focusing on the engine we improved by some tenths.”
Position: 9th – Time: 1’31.371
“We were able to improve compared to yesterday, but unfornately our opponents were able to improve more. Today was a bit more difficult. We tried a different engine and a different spec, but it was similar to the one we tried yesterday so they have more or less the same performance. For now we keep the same material, and next week we will try it again at another track, in Jerez, so there we’ll try to understand it in a better way. After that we have to wait for next year. The test in Jerez is important because in the GP there in May we weren’t very fast. We need to understand if we’re stronger now.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“We’ve made a very productive start to the 2019 pre-season, and we have quite a few things to be positive about. Our wish for some dry testing time was granted, though we had to wait until the afternoon on both days. Still, the hours on track allowed us to get a lot of work done. As announced during the Valencia GP weekend, Maverick and Valentino focused mainly on comparing the new engine evolution to the 2018 engine. The new engines improve the engine braking, and the acceleration is smoother. Both riders really only concentrated on comparing the engines, without touching the chassis setting. They both gave positive and similar feedback on what we tried during this test. We managed to do 60% of what we had scheduled. So far we’re on the right path. Next up is the two-day test at Jerez that will be crucial in preparing for the 2019 season. We’re heading in the right direction, so that’s our motivation to keep working hard.”