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.
Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco continued to impress on Monday at the Sepang International Circuit, the second day of pre-season testing in 2018. The French rider improved by more than 0.7 seconds in order to hit his target, well arriving inside the 59’s.
However, Yonny Hernandez did well to further adapt his riding style to the Yamaha YZR-M1 and gradually finds his way back to the highly-competitive MotoGP field. The 29-year-old lowered his lap time from day one by about half a second.