MotoGP Official Test in Qatar
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team successfully completed the 2017 Qatar MotoGP test. Continuing their strategy to wait for sunset before revving up their engines, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi spent the day perfecting their racing set-up, setting the first and eleventh fastest time of the day respectively ( click here to know more about MotoGP Official Test Results and Cal Crutchlow testing in Qatar).
Viñales and 2017 Qatar MotoGP Test
Viñales used today‘s outings on the Losail International Circuit to their full capacity. He opted to continue fine-tuning his bike, looking for the optimum balance on the YZR-M1 to increase his margin over the rest of the MotoGP field.
As the session progressed, so did the Spaniard’s efforts. He once again proved his status as the man to beat, when he set a 1‘54.330s just before the end of the fourth hour. This hot lap remained unchallenged for the rest of the session. Viñales proceeded with a long run to wrap up the test with vital information on fuel consumption and tyre degradation, bringing his tally for today up to 60 laps. He finished the day in first place, 0.071s ahead of his closest rival in both today‘s and the combined results.
Valentino Rossi had a more challenging time as he struggled to find the same feeling he had yesterday. The Italian had a productive day, determined to shape up for the MotoGP season, putting in 54 laps in total.
Around halfway through the session he set his fastest time of the day, a 1’55.185s. Unable to further improve on his time as the temperatures went down, the Italian settled for eleventh position in today‘s results, 0.855s from his teammate. However, Rossi ended up in sixth place in the combined standings, thanks to the 1‘54.732s lap that he set yesterday.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will return to the Losail circuit in two weeks’ time to officially kick off the 2017 MotoGP World Championship.
I‘m really happy, we made another step with the bike and I feel comfortable, even on the race pace we are quite happy. I feel that we can still better the electronics and gain a couple of tenths, so we have a margin to improve. For sure we‘re not on the bike‘s limit, so we can still push a little bit more. If we do the same in the first GP as we did in the test, we can fight for the victory. We have a really good package and I feel good on the bike. I have a great fitness now, so I feel comfortable.
Today was more difficult compared to yesterday. We started with the same bike to continue our programme, but unfortunately I didn’t have the same feeling and the same speed. It looks like the condition of the track changed a bit and we were unable to improve. I didn’t have the same feeling as yesterday and I was a bit slower. We put in a lot of effort to go a bit slower. I think we are still not ready, we don’t understand 100% how to make the bike work at the maximum. We are a bit worried because at the end except for some good laps the winter tests were very difficult. So now we have to speak together and try to be stronger for the first race. I hope to be faster and more competitive.