This press release just in:
Phillip Island (Australia), 17th February 2017
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP ended the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test with positive findings today. With the importance still firmly set on bettering tyre life and improving their race pace, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi completed the third and final day of testing taking first and eleventh place respectively in today’s timesheets and first and twelfth in the combined standings.
This morning, Viñales was once again on the attack in the early stages of the eight-hour session. Making the most of his YZR-M1’s nimble character at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit he dropped the best time of the test, a 1’28.549s on lap 13, within the first hour to slot into first place in the rankings with a margin of 0.294s.
The young Spaniard‘s attention shifted to the last details of his bike’s setting in the afternoon before it was time for two race simulations. Posting strings of low to mid 1‘29s, he completed 101 laps today. All the while, his best time remained unchallenged, leaving Viñales unbeaten in the overall results of the first three 2017 MotoGP pre-season tests in Valencia, Sepang and Phillip Island.
Teammate Rossi had a more challenging outing, but stayed focused on his goal. Determined to give his engineers as much data as possible to base the next development steps on, he worked down his testing checklist, making decisions on various settings.
In the afternoon, the Italian embraced the last opportunity to lessen his bike‘s tyre degradation at the Phillip Island circuit, which is known to be hard on tyres. He completed a total of 52 laps today. His fastest morning time, a 1‘29.470s, initially earned him provisional sixth place, 0.921s behind his teammate. However, as his competitors‘ pace quickened throughout the day, Rossi was pushed back to eleventh.
The team and Japanese engineers will go over the data to prepare the next steps ahead of the upcoming MotoGP season. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Qatar MotoGP Official Test from March 10th – 12th.
Today we had the opportunity to attempt two race simulations with Maverick and we also tried some new settings with Valentino. The fast pace that Maverick was able to keep up during the long runs proves that we have improved the rear tyre life, which was one of our main objectives for this season. Though we couldn‘t fully decide which chassis we will use, we accomplished most of what we had set out to do here and we leave Phillip Island topping today‘s and the combined timesheets thanks to Maverick‘s impressive 1‘28.549s lap. We secured a lot of interesting information, which will allow our engineers to prepare another step for the test in Qatar in March.
It was a very positive test for us. We came here to try many items and now we got things clear and we already know which set-up we can start using in Qatar. We did a lot of work and I‘m happy about that. Today we concentrated mainly on the race pace and I‘m satisfied, but we‘re still able to improve. We didn‘t decide on the fairing yet, it‘s still totally open, you never know.
Today we worked a lot on the pace for the second half of the race, because we suffered in that area last year. We tried something quite different, but in the end we didn‘t improve a lot, so we‘ll have to try something else. I think the bike has good aspects, especially the engine, but for sure this test was more difficult for me than the one in Sepang. I‘m not very happy and we need to try to do better.