Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team completed the first official IRTA test of the 2018 season, held at the Sepang International Circuit. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales had another go at trying the new aerodynamic fairing, this time in blistering hot conditions. They finished the final day of testing in 8th and 18th place respectively.
Rossi headed out a little after 10 o’clock local track time, eager to pick up where he left off yesterday. He quickly got into the groove again, dropping a low 2’00s lap on his eighth try, before he turned his attention to crossing the last items off his testing list.
After lunch the Italian continued proceedings and didn’t stop riding until the very end of the session. He was pleased to complete most of his schedule, giving him a good understanding of the direction to work in. However, a lack of grip held him back from climbing up the timesheets. His fastest lap, a 1’59.449s set on lap 52/54, earned him eighth position, 0.619s from first.
Viñales again showed his great determination and motivation today. He stuck with his plan to ride as many laps as possible in order to prepare for longer runs. The 23-year-old had already completed 140 laps on the first two days, but still worked tirelessly for more than three hours straight, collecting valuable data, before taking a break.
The Spaniard got back into his leathers a little after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, to try out some last fine-tuning of the settings. He improved his time, clocking a day’s best of 2’00.547s, posted on lap 70/71, that saw him finish in 18th place, 1.717s from the front.
Though the teammates were unable to improve on their times set yesterday, Viñales’ and Rossi’s 1’59.355s and 1’59.390s laps, clocked at the end of Day 2, earned them seventh and ninth place respectively in the combined timesheets.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco leaves Malaysia with some great feedback after three productive first days of testing in 2018. Last year’s MotoGP Rookie of the Year continued his hard work on Tuesday, concluding the test with further significant improvements, shaving off additional two tenths from his best lap time from the previous day.
Yonny Hernandez displayed his great potential while riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time during this official MotoGP test. The Columbian rider, who was called to replace Jonas Folger in Sepang, increased his feeling on the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine repeatedly on the final day of testing and was able to improve on his day one pace by nearly one second.
The next MotoGP outing is set to take place at the newly introduced Buriram Circuit, Thailand, where the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team aims to contest with a second permanent rider alongside French star Johann Zarco.