They ended the 2018 MotoGP pre-season testing on a positive note, finishing in second and fifth place respectively in today's and the combined timesheets, and in third and seventh position in the wet session.
Unable to complete his time attack yesterday, Rossi was eager to make strides today. The Doctor entered the track at 15:30 local time and he wasn't to let a small set-back get in his way. Though he suffered a crash in turn 14 with still four hours of the dry session remaining, he was unharmed and quickly back out on track to make up for lost time.
The Italian spent the remainder of the available dry time preparing for the first race of the season, to be held at the Losail International Circuit in two weeks' time, and noticeably quickened his pace towards the end of the session. He ended the dry testing in second place with a 1'54.276s, set on lap 42 of 49 laps, 0.247s from first.
Viñales also showed that hard work pays off. He started the session half an hour after his teammate, but went the extra mile to find a good set-up, ahead of the first round of the MotoGP season.
He completed 40 laps in total and made a big step in the final 40 minutes of the dry testing time. He wrapped up the third day of testing in fifth place, posting a best time of 1'54.471s, set on lap 38, 0.442s off the front.
Following the dry session, the riders were given the opportunity to test the Losail circuit in (artificial) wet conditions during the final hour. Rossi completed the wet session in third place with a 2'15.542s. Viñales secured seventh place in the wet session results, clocking a 2'21.302s.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in Qatar on March 15th for the MotoGP 2018 Line-up Presentation and to commence the 2018 season, with the Grand Prix of Qatar being held from March 16th - 18th.
"I'm quite happy after this test, especially after this afternoon, because I think we've worked hard in these last few days and also in the first part of today. This afternoon we put it all together and I was able to do a very good lap for second position and I also had a good rhythm, with a good pace. But, we are all still very close in the timesheets, there are a lot of riders that are strong. We continue to suffer with the tyres, front and rear, and I did just half a race distance. We have to try to understand what will happen from that point until the end of the race - we will see in two weeks."
"In the last 40 minutes I think we made a big step. I feel good on the bike, but not at 100% yet, so there's still room for improvement. Anyway, we did three days of hard work, and we got a bit lost along the way. During those moments I couldn't push and it shows we need to keep focused and pay attention when we make changes, because in the last 40 minutes it felt like a completely different bike. Like I said, we need to keep working. I think if I were to do a time attack right now, I could do a really good lap time. As soon as I got on the bike, after the changes, I felt comfortable and that I could keep a good rhythm - not as good as last year yet, but after today we came to some conclusions."
"We worked really hard these last three days and it wasn't all smooth sailing. We encountered some difficulties along the way that took some time to fix, but in the end we managed to get a lot of testing done and find some solutions. We tried many things, some were good, some weren't, and we made an important step at the end of the dry session. We also had the opportunity to try the track in wet conditions. The most important thing is that the riders are feeling good on the bike and can carry a competitive and consistent pace, because the season will start in two weeks' time, which is something we are really looking forward to."
Zarco Concludes Final Pre-season Test Superbly on Top, While Syahrin Shows Impressive Progress
With a masterful lap of 1:54.029 Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco dominated the MotoGP field on the last day of testing before the start of the 2018 season. The remarkable Frenchman took over the top spot with two hours to go, before he carried out a race simulation in order to be perfectly prepared for the first race, which takes place in two weeks' time under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit.
On the other side of the Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin improved his pace aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 considerably. The premier class rookie skimmed nearly 1.5 seconds from his best lap on day one to complete what is just his second MotoGP test only 0.141 behind the fastest newcomer of the category, with a fantastic accomplishment to reach the top 16 overall. Both, Zarco and Syahrin are eager to commence the season following highly promising signs during their respective preparations.
"That was a very good third day, I'm delighted to finish with the top lap time. I think it was even possible to ride inside the high 53s, but we have to accept that we have to understand step by step how to ride at this speed. We did some great work with the team and with everything we did during these three days, I felt more confidence and I could work well on this. When I did a very long run to test the race, it was not too fast. I did 17 laps in a row, but probably a bit tired after this intense days here. Anyway, we are constant and I can relax a lot on the bike. I'm really happy about that and I need to keep this feeling in mind to start the race weekend well in a fortnight."
"I'm very happy about this last day. I didn't expect to be able to ride in the low 55s and keep this pace also consistently. A huge thank you to the Tech3 crew, they did a really good job. We are working hard in order to try to get closer to the top as much as we can. Honestly, this time today was surprising for me. I feel very confident, although I did a small mistake during the race simulation. But we quickly understood it and know what we have to do for race day. I'm very thrilled, thanks again to our team, all the sponsors and fans, they are fantastic!"