The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track today to continue work at the first official IRTA test of the 2018 season, held at the Sepang International Circuit. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi again worked diligently to improve their 2018 YZR-M1s, and the results echoed the positive rider feedback. They finished the second day in first and second place respectively.
Similar to yesterday morning, the MotoGP riders waited for the track to dry before they ventured out just before 12 o’clock local track time.
Viñales had a busy schedule again. His strategy remained the same as for Day 1: put in a lot of laps to work on tyre wear. He initially headed out on the same bike as yesterday to get a feel for the conditions, before he gave the new fairing a try. Throughout the second day of testing the Spaniard noticed improvement in the consistency of his lap times. He put his YZR-M1 to the test during the final stages of the eight-hour session and posted a 1’59.355s on lap 66/68 for top billing, with a 0.035s margin.
Trying to make up for lost time due to the overnight rain, Rossi also made strides in the afternoon. He only needed about half an hours’ time to drop a 1’59.766s, set on lap 12, to take over at the top of the timesheets. Back into the rhythm, he proceeded work on his bike’s setting as well as the tyre wear. He spent a long time in second place on the provisional timesheets, until the pace quickened at the end of the day. The Doctor joined in on the action and briefly went top with a 1’59.390s attempt on lap 38/39, before his teammate pushed him to second place.
Today’s efforts see Viñales and Rossi also hold first and second place respectively in the combined day 1-2 standings, leaving them in a positive mindset to complete the testing schedule tomorrow.
Position: 1st – Time: 1:59.355 – Laps: 68
“The second day went really well. I felt really good with the bike. We’ve been working especially on the electronics, but there’s still work to do. We have a long way to go to set up the electronics correctly, but I’m happy with the steps we’ve made. We tried to work in hot conditions, especially around midday and we’ll follow the same plan tomorrow. We’re trying to improve a lot in hot conditions, to solve the problems we had last year. I think it was a positive day and I’m ready to work some more tomorrow.”
Position: 2nd – Time: 1:59.390 – Laps: 39
” I’m happy about the second day because we worked well and finished our programme for today. We tried some big and small details and some things were good and some things were less good. For example, I like the aerodynamics, and I was able to improve my pace and lap times. I think I did my personal best here in Sepang today, because a 1’59.3s is good. It’s very tight, all the top riders are very strong, so that will be interesting. I’m very happy to be there at the front. I like the fairing more than last year’s because I have more protection and – because I’m a bit big and tall – that’s what I need, so that’s good. The ducts – that are not wings – are good because the bike has less wheelie and that gives us more front contact. It looks like we’re also quite fast in the straight and so it was a good day.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“We’ve made further progress today. We lost a few hours of testing time in the morning, but we’re still on schedule. On the first day we tried to confirm our earlier found data and on the second day of testing we wanted to add onto it. Maverick and Vale were really focused on riding with used tyres, and so far it looks like improvements have been made on tyre wear. They have a good feeling on the bike and were also able to test a new aerodynamic fairing with positive results. The mini time-attack at the end of the day put us in first and second place, which is great for the team. More importantly, we’re working in the right direction as we prepare for longer runs. We still need about four or five dry hours of testing tomorrow in order to finish our schedule.”