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Sepang MotoGP Test: Yamaha Riders on Top After Day 2

Day 2 of the 3-day MotoGP test at Sepang ended with Yamaha factory riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi posting the fastest times. Many riders were fast, with 12 of them posting laps in the 1:59 second range.

The new Ducati (GP18) was declared a solid step forward by Casey Stoner in a private test last week, and factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso seemed to agree. Lorenzo was fourth quickest on Day 2. Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller was fifth quickest, and has shown consistent speed after moving away from Honda to Ducati this year.

Stay tuned for a report tomorrow on the final, Day 3 results of the test. Below is the press release from Movistar Yamaha, which contains the Day 2 times: .

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track today to continue work at the first official IRTA test of the 2018 season, held at the Sepang International Circuit. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi again worked diligently to improve their 2018 YZR-M1s, and the results echoed the positive rider feedback. They finished the second day in first and second place respectively.

Similar to yesterday morning, the MotoGP riders waited for the track to dry before they ventured out just before 12 o’clock local track time.

Viñales had a busy schedule again. His strategy remained the same as for Day 1: put in a lot of laps to work on tyre wear. He initially headed out on the same bike as yesterday to get a feel for the conditions, before he gave the new fairing a try. Throughout the second day of testing the Spaniard noticed improvement in the consistency of his lap times. He put his YZR-M1 to the test during the final stages of the eight-hour session and posted a 1’59.355s on lap 66/68 for top billing, with a 0.035s margin.

Trying to make up for lost time due to the overnight rain, Rossi also made strides in the afternoon. He only needed about half an hours’ time to drop a 1’59.766s, set on lap 12, to take over at the top of the timesheets. Back into the rhythm, he proceeded work on his bike’s setting as well as the tyre wear. He spent a long time in second place on the provisional timesheets, until the pace quickened at the end of the day. The Doctor joined in on the action and briefly went top with a 1’59.390s attempt on lap 38/39, before his teammate pushed him to second place.

Today’s efforts see Viñales and Rossi also hold first and second place respectively in the combined day 1-2 standings, leaving them in a positive mindset to complete the testing schedule tomorrow.

Maverick Viñales
Position: 1st – Time: 1:59.355 – Laps: 68

“The second day went really well. I felt really good with the bike. We’ve been working especially on the electronics, but there’s still work to do. We have a long way to go to set up the electronics correctly, but I’m happy with the steps we’ve made. We tried to work in hot conditions, especially around midday and we’ll follow the same plan tomorrow. We’re trying to improve a lot in hot conditions, to solve the problems we had last year. I think it was a positive day and I’m ready to work some more tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi
Position: 2nd – Time: 1:59.390 – Laps: 39

” I’m happy about the second day because we worked well and finished our programme for today. We tried some big and small details and some things were good and some things were less good. For example, I like the aerodynamics, and I was able to improve my pace and lap times. I think I did my personal best here in Sepang today, because a 1’59.3s is good. It’s very tight, all the top riders are very strong, so that will be interesting. I’m very happy to be there at the front. I like the fairing more than last year’s because I have more protection and – because I’m a bit big and tall – that’s what I need, so that’s good. The ducts – that are not wings – are good because the bike has less wheelie and that gives us more front contact. It looks like we’re also quite fast in the straight and so it was a good day.”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“We’ve made further progress today. We lost a few hours of testing time in the morning, but we’re still on schedule. On the first day we tried to confirm our earlier found data and on the second day of testing we wanted to add onto it. Maverick and Vale were really focused on riding with used tyres, and so far it looks like improvements have been made on tyre wear. They have a good feeling on the bike and were also able to test a new aerodynamic fairing with positive results. The mini time-attack at the end of the day put us in first and second place, which is great for the team. More importantly, we’re working in the right direction as we prepare for longer runs. We still need about four or five dry hours of testing tomorrow in order to finish our schedule.”

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Norm G. says:

    re: “Yamaha Riders on Top After Day 2”

    MAVERICK AND GOOSE, he’s not leaving his “wingman” (behind).

  2. mickey says:

    lol.. Valentino ” The ducts – that are not wings –”

    I did not have sex with that woman Ms Lewinski

    I am not a crook

    Keep saying it, some people will believe it

    If it was the prototype fairing I saw earlier, (and not the one at the top of this page) it had wings.

    I seem to remember Vinales sitting at the top of the leader board in pre testing last year too

    • mickey says:

      btw the Suzuki that Rins was riding sure appeared to have wings as well.

      The rules committee must have relaxed the rules on the smooth rounded body parts.

  3. VLJ says:

    With three of the top six times so far, including the top two, plus the extra top speed and anti-wheelie downforce from the new ducts/wings, and the ability to run longer distances in the heat on worn tires, it would seem that Yamaha was fairly pissed about how last season turned out. It sure looks like they did their homework this offseaon.

    • Dave says:

      Here’s hoping, but I recall last years’ pre and early season starting just like this too. I have’t read anything that spells out exactly what went wrong in 2017. Somehow, they just lost their way.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I have’t read anything that spells out exactly what went wrong in 2017.”

      D – O – D – G – Y…

      M – I – C – H – E – L – I – N…

      F – R – O – N – T – S.

      • Dave says:

        Same tires for everyone. Vinales and Rossi went 3rd & 5th in the series and Zarco was excellent on them later in the season, also on a Yamaha.

        Did the tires change dramatically after the beginning of the season?

  4. hh says:

    Spoiler Alert!!!!

    and day 3 Yama comes in good so at this point 25 + 46 might = 1 as a good championship run at rider, team and constructor..

    • hh says:

      too hasty for Yama …everyone goes big day 3.

    • Dave says:

      Another spoiler alert:
      “Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest ever two-wheel lap of Sepang, just before 12pm. Race simulations are also expected on the final afternoon…”

      Still a little time to go, but the order is all scrambled, with Yamaha’s WAY down the order and Cal holding fast in the top-5.

      • hh says:

        there you go..don’t count your eggs before they chicken….Jorge starting to get a handle on the bike…looking forward to some tight racing this year

  5. bmbktmracer says:

    Happy to see Jack Miller near the top. Hoping to see Morbidelli get up to speed soon.

  6. Rhinestone Kawboy says:

    I would like to see Aprilia start to get in there to. Same old gets old after awhile.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I would like to see Aprilia start to get in there to.”

      unfortunately as i mentioned 2 years ago, they have to “green light” a new engine. no one has ever so much as GOTTEN ARRESTED on a narrow angle V in grand prix. and as we see, go unsupported, one can’t even get arrested in WSBK either.

      • Dave says:

        That can’t be it. There’s a WHOLE LOT of every other kind of bike behind Aleix’s Aprilia on the time sheets and the bike goes top-10 fairly frequently.

        I agree about the support. There’s only 3 win capable bikes in WSBK now, despite many less competitive examples of the same models in the field.

  7. Gary says:

    Here’s hoping KTM finds the speed to run in the mix …

    • I agree. It’s crazy how close it is at the front. KTM was often two seconds off last year, and now Pol is less than a second off the front. You’d have thought that would have put him further up the order! Time will tell…

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