.Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales were keen to get reunited with their YZR-M1s today at the start of the Buriram MotoGP Official Test. The teammates were back on track to build on the results from the three-day Sepang test held a few weeks ago.
The first day of testing at the Chang International Circuit was a special occasion for Rossi, who celebrates his 39th birthday today, but he wasn’t having a lie-in. He entered the track at 10:14am local time, eager to make it a memorable occasion.
The Doctor completed 74 laps in total, which he used to re-assess various items he had tried earlier at the Sepang test. Though his focus was on analysing his bike’s behaviour, he still managed to enjoy his birthday, doing what he loves most. The Italian wrapped up the first day in eighth place with a best lap time of 1’31.189s, set on lap 68, 0.392s from the front.
Viñales made his typical early bird start as the second pre-season test got underway at 9:30am local time. As this is the MotoGP field’s first time trying the Buriram track, the Spaniard didn’t waste a second to make full use of the opportunity. He fine-tuned his bike’s settings in the morning, working on his pace and corner entry, before taking a break at 01:30pm.
The young gun continued his efforts later in the afternoon. He completed 70 laps in total. In the final hour of testing, he set his fastest time of the day, a 1’31.294s on lap 67, for 11th place, 0.497s from the top of the standings.
For the first time ever, the MotoGP World Championship went to the Chang International Circuit this week, where Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco immediately found a fast way around the 4.554km long track and Hafizh Syahrin got his first taste of the Yamaha YZR-M1.
Following a first inspection on Thursday, Zarco was rapidly amongst the fastest riders at the new venue. The French star concluded the first hot day in Buriram merely half a second behind the fastest rider, in 12th position. Meanwhile, Syahrin had the hard mission to adapt to the MotoGP machine and the new circuit at the same time, but mastered his task impressively and completed his debut with a best lap time of 1’33.165 minutes.