Maverick Viñales maintained his key protagonist status during the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.
The Spaniard was the only rider to drop under the 1'30s mark to top the standings for the second day in succession. Valentino Rossi also made strides today under the Valencian sun and spent the afternoon testing the new 2017 chassis and engine and set the seventh fastest time..
Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo to continue their 2017 MotoGP testing programme.
Despite having to sit out one hour in the pit box during this second day of testing after the session was red flagged due to two crashes from other riders in turn 12, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to made the most of the perfect riding conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and assembled useful data.
Maverick Viñales again eagerly entered the track in the morning and was immediately on the pace. Upon his return in the afternoon he focused on bettering his bike's set-up and posted an impressive 1'30.930s on lap 25, for third place, but he was far from done. The 21-year-old rider's energy was seemingly inexhaustible as he rode a total of 76 laps and became the first rider to drop under the 1'30s with a stunning 1'29.975s on his 66th lap, 0.196s faster than his closest rival.
Valentino Rossi joined the Spaniard later in the day, heading out on track in the afternoon. It only took the nine-time World Champion 13 laps to set a 1'30.893s, enough to shoot him up the rankings to second. The Doctor preferred to spend his time on testing the new chassis and engine for the 2017 YZR-M1 rather than doing a time attack. He was unable to improve in place, but further improved his time to a 1'30.709s for seventh place on his final lap, 0.734s from first.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We can be very pleased with the progression we are making. Maverick's initial nerves have gone now and he is already very strong. It's amazing to see him drop a 1'29s lap so shortly after his transition and we are also very impressed with how accurate his feedback is with so few kilometres under his belt on this bike. Valentino spent the afternoon testing the 2017 spec bike and making comparisons versus the various setting options. Thanks to his assessments we now have a better understanding of how these features affect the bike's balance. We will share this data with Yamaha's Japanese engineers so they can continue developing these items, but for a first test we are already in a good position."
Valentino Rossi - 7th, 1'30.709, 45/69 laps
"It was a long day because we worked quite a lot and we needed a lot of laps, especially a lot of comparisons between the old and the new engine and the old and the new chassis. We also tried some tyres and we saw that we still have a lot of work to do, but anyway it was quite a positive day. We have to work in general on the entire package, especially the chassis has some good things, but we need a bit more time to find the right setting. As for the engine, this one is the first evolution, but we still need to work to try go faster."
Zarco and Folger leave Valencia with high confidence after continuing notable starts
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair depart the Circuit Ricardo Tormo feeling fired up for the forthcoming season after once again thoroughly impressing on only their second day aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1's as the rookies gathered more knowledge of the premier class motorcycles. Jonas Folger turned heads with another superb performance as he finished the test inside the top ten, with a time that was only 0.973 from the top of the standings. Whilst Johann Zarco made further encouraging strides forward as he finished a mere 0.067 behind his teammate and in 11th, ahead of numerous experienced MotoGP riders.
Jonas Folger - 10th, 1'30.948, 62/63 laps
"Overall, it was a very successful time for us and we can leave feeling happy about what we achieved. The plan was to carry on from where we finished yesterday which meant that I continued to work a lot on my riding style. We completed many laps and it was a long day but we collected a large quantity of data, which we needed to gather. Also, the Tech3 team and I started to alter the bike slightly to see which direction that we could possibly head towards in the future. I still need to adjust my riding style with regards to running the worn tyres, but on the whole, it was a positive day and I was able to round it off by setting a good lap time. Thanks to the crew for their efforts and I look forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the future."
Johann Zarco - 11th, 1'31.015, 55/61 laps
"Today was really positive and I am truly satisfied about the work that we undertook. As soon as we started this morning, I was able to run at a similar pace to yesterday, where I was pushing, so it was good to have a bike that I was comfortable with and that I could be fast on straight away. Every time that I left the pit box, I was stronger and I improved my lap times quite consistently. The Tech3 team did a super job and I was able to adapt my riding style more to suit the Yamaha. I am feeling more confident on the M1 which I am really happy about and a 1'31.0 lap is a great target to achieve, plus I was only one second from the front which is very pleasing and a solid way to close the test."