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Viñales Separates Himself from Field on Day 2 at Phillip Island

Valentino Rossi clearly has his hands full with young Yamaha teammate Maverick Viñales this year. Viñales was the only rider earlier today to do a lap quicker than 1:29 flat … and he did five of them! Only Marc Marquez (Honda) has pace competitive with Viñales, particularly with regard to race simulations over several laps.

Weather permitting, on the final day of the test tomorrow you will see times fall yet again, as riders try to leave the test with bragging rights. Here are the times from Day 2:

Phillip Island Test – Day 2:

1. VIÑALES, Maverick – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:28.847 – Lap 21 / 80
2. MARQUEZ, Marc – Repsol Honda Team – 1:29.309 +0.462 – Lap 20 / 107
3. CRUTCHLOW, Cal – LCR Honda – 1:29.325 +0.478 – Lap 28 / 80
4. BAUTISTA, Alvaro – Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:29.411 +0.564 – Lap 42 / 86
5. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea – Ducati Team – 1:29.483 +0.636 – Lap 32 / 55
6. ESPARGARO, Aleix – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:29.501 +0.654 – Lap 18 / 69
7. FOLGER, Jonas – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.664 +0.817 – Lap 29 / 65
8. ROSSI, Valentino – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:29.674 +0.827 – Lap 18 / 70
9. RINS, Alex – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.802 +0.955 – Lap 68 / 80
10. MILLER, Jack – Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1:29.838 +0.991 – Lap 36 / 83
11. ZARCO, Johann – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.880 +1.033 – Lap 84 / 88
12. IANNONE, Andrea – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.947 +1.100 – Lap 19 / 72
13. ABRAHAM, Karel – Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:30.142 +1.295 – Lap 20 / 73
14. PETRUCCI, Danilo – Octo Pramac Racing – 1:30.150 +1.303 – Lap 64 / 65
15. LORENZO, Jorge – Ducati Team – 1:30.197 +1.350 – Lap 32 / 64
16. PEDROSA, Dani – Repsol Honda Team – 1:30.245 +1.398 – Lap 38 / 40
17. BARBERA, Hector – Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:30.352 +1.505 – Lap 18 / 62
18. REDDING, Scott – Octo Pramac Racing – 1:30.435 +1.588 – Lap 83 / 90
19. ESPARGARO, Pol – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:30.645 +1.798 – Lap 24 / 59
20. BAZ, Loris – Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:30.852 +2.005 – Lap 34 / 53
21. LOWES, Sam – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:30.895 +2.048 – Lap 34 / 64
22. SMITH, Bradley – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:31.704 +2.857 – Lap 35 / 81

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  1. xLaYN says:

    The alien is dead… long live the alien.
    Nice to know Viniales is profiling himself as the Alien to beat….

    Let’s see if this is the start of the end of Lorenzo’s carrer.

  2. Gary says:

    Nice to see fresh faces with fast times. Here’s hoping some new manufacturers also join the fray. I’m especially keen to see KTM do well.

  3. Tommy D says:

    I don’t see Maverick making an enemy with Rossi. I think Rossi will rise to the occasion when the green flag drops. He has a tendency to out perform his practice sessions in the heat of battle. But even if that doesn’t happen I see Rossi softening. It’s both that he is older and also a tip of the hat to Maverick’s personality. He seems to be a decent chap and not the stiff that Lorenzo is. Of course MM and Rossi were friends so let’s wait and see how this pans out. I’m hoping that everyone stays friends and the racing stays tight but clean.

  4. motonut_1 says:

    Hhhmmm, where is Casey? Phillip Island is his “home” track. Did Ducati decide they didn’t want his potential lap times to be discouraging to Lorenzo. Unfortunately Jorge has got to be a little discouraged already. Hopefully, he’ll find the secret before the season begins.

    I think the more riders vying for the win the better. If the finish of a MotoGP looked like a finish of a Moto3 race, that would be wonderful IMO.

    • Fred says:

      Jorga to Vale as Last Day 2016 Yam Best Buddies:

      Hey Vale, did you keep your PI settings form your Duc back then?

      Vale: Use these, I wouldn’t share them with MM, but your my Old Mate & Buddy. But you will be second after me out there on the track, trust me.

  5. Brian Dueck says:

    I’m not Lorenzo’s biggest fan, but based on his post-test comments both in Sepang and Phillip Island, I think Lorenzo is gaining an understanding of how big the challenge is ahead of him.

    Let’s put it this way, Lorenzo has never had to change his riding style. Nothing has ever required him to as he’s been very successful as Mr. Smooth and Consistent. With the Yamaha under him, he has had a bike that can deliver predictability and corner speed and that’s all he has ever known since entering MotoGP. And this would have largely been the same earlier in his career to as

    So the question is, does Lorenzo even understand how to change his style?

    To wit, take this quote from him from yesterday’s test:

    “Something is still not right and we still didn’t discover [it],” he said.

    “We need to discover something that allows me to enter the corners faster to open more throttle and generally go faster in the corner speed.

    “We don’t have the bike, Ducati, with the best corner speed but at this moment [Alvaro] Bautista [on the 2016 model] in most of the corners is much faster than me and we have to understand what is going on.”

    I would submit that what is still not right is not the bike but him. I know he has made some comments since starting testing the Duc that he will need to change his style. I don’t doubt that he intellectually understand this, but can he physically execute it and trust himself and the bike/tires to ride in a way that gets the maximum out of that fire breathing machine.

    Time will tell, but good men have been broken on the Ducati. Take Melandri as a case in point. A top rider in his day – and the Duc he rode absolutely shattered his confidence. Granted this is a different machine now, but I think it’s not so much the machine as the rider’s ability to adapt. We only have to look at Stoner, Bautista and Iannone as a few examples of riders who are able to switch machines and their styles and continue to be competitive.

    I do hope he figures it out for the benefit of us spectators. But his struggles so far are proving me right in my prediction that he will not podium in the dry this year. As for the wet, ordinarily I’d give an outside chance of a top guy like Jorge to figure out a way to win in the wet – but we know how much he dislikes it when it pours.

    • xLaYN says:

      There are two things…
      1st) There is something on that “it’s not me, it’s the machine” attitude… (maybe the machine is really broken… which takes me to…)
      2nd) Why Ducati can get a machine to be the one to beat on GP but the great Alien-breaker?

    • Mick says:

      Ducati hasn’t had a good handling bike since they quite using trellis frames. Funny they don’t just admit that and go back to them.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Ducati hasn’t had a good handling bike since they quite using trellis frames. Funny they don’t just admit that and go back to them.”


  6. Gus says:

    Nobody crowing about Crutchlow being 3rd on the charts? One of those Friday the 13th/full moon things?

  7. Vrooom says:

    Vinales is cooking. He improved his time from yesterday a full second. Lorenzo down in 15th, I didn’t expect he’d be leading, but I did expect him in the top 10. Impressive showing from Bautista, Aleix Espargo and Folger. Especially Espargo on the Aprilia. Miller faster than Iannone, that’s a surprise. Miller is talented but he’s not a maniac.

  8. JBFST says:

    Going to be an exciting season
    My prediction for the end ?
    1. MM
    2. Rossi
    3. MV
    4. Lorenzo

  9. PatrickD says:

    Oh boy…. Where to start?
    OK from the top. Vinales is going to make a very powerful enemy really soon by the looks of it.
    Jonas Folger on the Tech3 topping Rossi? Wow.
    Bautista in 4th on a GP16. I had thought that Aprilia made a mistake dropping him, and looking his performances so far, not to mention Sam Lowes, I was correct.
    Aleix in 5th on the Aprilia? Aleix and Bautista might have been the strongest line up for Aprilia. See above.
    Rins beating Iannone? Suzuki are dealy serious about this class and look to have a very competitive team despite the change of riders. Not sure they should’ve let Aleix move on, although he did have a sub-par 2017 with them.
    Jorge quite a bit off the pace. Some work to do between him and the factory, and the stress will surely be starting to build. I’d say Ducati are busy in the wind tunnel looking to integrate some winglets into their fairing design. Expect something quite radical quite soon.
    And Bradley over a second off his teammate? Not looking positive, although they might be developing things in different directions at this stage of the KTM.

    I’d like the races to be as varied and suprising as that timesheet. Heres hoping.

    • Dave says:

      Guys who’ve dropped down the order today are most likely testing/working on full length race pace, as commentary alluded to yesterday.

      That Aprilia has been on a steady march and will almost certainly be in the mix this year. Wish they could’ve kept Bautista. He’s underrated and I expect he’ll be missing that Aprilia by the end of this season.

      I have to say, things are looking pretty grim for Lorenzo. He’s getting used to the bike and they’re searching for settings, but there’s plenty of Duc’s near the top of the order that are older bikes, with less talented riders on them. They need to find the combination, FAST, or this is going to go badly for him. Maybe he’ll just always look better in blue…

    • Pacer says:

      Sometimes it takes a pink slip to wake a rider up. The exception this year would be Iannone. His move was because Ducati spent some of the money he wanted on Lorenzo.

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