The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team had been looking forward to this day for months. They got to show off their 2019 team colours in action on the first of three testing days at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the day working through a number of items and secured third and sixth place respectively in today‘s results.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have started their 2019 MotoGP pre-season testing programme at the Sepang International Circuit today. The new bike livery was a hot topic on the first of the three riding days in Malaysia, but for the team the focus lay solely on improving the bike‘s performance. After a full-on day of testing, the team-mates took third and sixth place respectively in today‘s time sheets.
Viñales had been looking forward to riding again for months, and it showed. He headed out of pit lane aboard his no.12 YZR-M1 just after 10:40 (GMT+8), a few minutes after his team-mate. He was quick to put his name towards the top of the rankings, moving up to fourth place on his first run.
Having refamiliarised himself with the Sepang track, he then put his attention towards trying the various testing items, and with success. The Spaniard set a 1‘59.937s for provisional second place on lap 28/63 around midday, before finalising his testing programme. Though he couldn‘t beat his own time in the hot afternoon, he is feeling confident having completed the session in third place, 0.316s from first.
Rossi also didn‘t let any time go to waste on the first day of testing in Malaysia. He was quick to head out on track, to start a packed morning of testing.
Though he was mainly concerned with building on his findings from the previous testing days in Spain, he steadily gained pace in the first two hours on track. His fastest lap from his morning runs was a 2‘00.054s, set on lap 22/56, that initially put him in fourth place. He was unable to further improve his position in the time sheets due to the change in track conditions in the afternoon, but his best effort from this morning kept him in sixth place, 0.433s from the top.
Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo take 2019 bow with good feelings on their Yamaha YZR-M1 machines in front of the passionate home fans at Sepang International Circuit.
The first day of the 2019 preseason finally arrived today and the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team quickly got to work on a day of testing that saw the two riders accumulate a total of 125 laps. Both riders spent 5 hours on track today, taking a break at midday due to the high temperatures registered at the Sepang International Circuit. In front of a number of excited home fans Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo were able to enjoy their new bikes on a positive first day of three at this test.
Morbidelli clocked up 60 laps (333km) in the intense heat, providing valuable information to the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT engineers. A fastest time of 2’00.460 came on his 58th lap and left him twelfth fastest overall, with the Italian in positive mood after establishing a good feeling with his Yamaha.
His teammate Quartararo continued with his adaptation to MotoGP and his new bike in front of the enthusiastic home support. The Frenchman completed 65 laps of the Sepang International Circuit (360km), with a best time of 2’00.985 on his 45th lap, leaving him 18th on the timesheets.
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will continue working tomorrow from 10am to 6pm local time, with the test due to conclude on 8th February.