MotoGP – Day Two
After a successful first outing around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the track today to continue their preparations for the 2017 MotoGP season.
Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team seamlessly picked up where they left off yesterday in Australia. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made the most of the sunny weather conditions on the second day of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. The pair worked on their race pace and compared chassis, ending the day in first and eighth place respectively in the timesheets.
Viñales kept up his impressive form today, showing he is also a force to be reckoned with at the flowing and fast Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Just over an hour into the session he became the first rider to drop into the 128s, setting a 128.847s on lap 21.
With his time-attack out of the way, he used the remaining time of todays eight-hour session to work on the race pace. The young Spaniard posted several series of consecutive 129s laps to underline his protagonist status. He completed a total of 80 laps, all the while remaining unchallenged at the top of the timesheets and left the track this evening as the fastest man, with a comfortable 0.462s lead over his closest rival.
Teammate Rossi also got his head down today to take the development of his YZR-M1 another step further. He spent the morning session getting a feel for the track and soon worked his way up to fifth place before he moved on to trying new Michelin tyres.
The Doctor completed 43 laps before lunch, but it wasnt all work and no play. After his morning stints, the Italian celebrated his 38th birthday at the Phillip Island track with his crew and a birthday cake.
Back on track in the afternoon, the Doctor completed another 27 laps as he crossed various items off his testing schedule. Whilst trying new bike modifications he was unable to improve on his time from this morning. His best lap, a 129.674s, earned him eighth place in the timesheets, 0.827s behind his teammate.
Marc Marquez completed an active second day of testing at Phillip Island, finishing second with a time of 1’29.309” recorded on lap 20 of 107 (more than any other rider). On a day again marked by fine weather conditions (air 20° C, track 40° C), the reigning MotoGP World Champion continued his work on the setup of his RC213V. In the final hour he did two long runs of around 15 laps each, with most laps in the 1’29” range.
Dani Pedrosa woke up with a sore throat and a bit of a fever, and after a check-up in the Clinica Mobile, he and his team decided it would be prudent for him to rest for a while in an effort to recover some strength. Dani finally took to the track around 3 p.m. and bravely completed 40 laps despite his less-than-ideal condition. His best lap time of 1’30.245” placed him in 16th position. He hopes to feel better for the third and final day of the test tomorrow.
The second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit saw Alex Rins making solid improvements in his riding style, with 1.6s cut-off from yesterday´s time, setting him in ninth position in today’s classification. The task proved more difficult for Andrea Iannone, who managed a lap time of 1:29.947 and placing 13th today.
The work of Rins’ crew focused on trying new specs of the chassis, providing different set-up configurations, and once again allowing the Spaniard to gain more and more confidence with the GSX-RR. His path of apprenticeship is progressing step-by-step and his feedback to the team is also improving, making the relationship better. This paid dividends in terms of performance on the track. Rins was also able to improve his riding style, finding better lines on the circuit, resulting in an improvement of 1.630s since yesterday.
Iannone, for his part, worked hard on his pace. He managed to improve on yesterday’s performance, although not on the single lap effectiveness. His crew introduced many variations in the setting and electronics, but could not find the perfect combination they were hoping for. The work done today will be analysed again in the evening to find better solutions for tomorrow.
The last runs of the day saw the debut of the new fairings on the GSX-RR. The laps done by Iannone and Rins with the modified layout were meant to get a first taste and collect some data to determine and prepare tomorrow’s plan.
Maverick Viñales: “Today we focused a lot on the race pace and honestly we did a great job, we made a big step compared to yesterday. Im feeling more comfortable on the track and Im getting more grip from the tyres. I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do. We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us. For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldnt beat the lap time I set this morning, but Im happy anyway. Ive been fast with both chassis and all the time Im riding 129-low and 129-medium. Like I said, weve made a big step today and well try to make another step tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi: “It was a difficult day for us, especially in the afternoon. This morning was not so bad. We tried some different tyres but we especially focused on the pace and it was quite good. This afternoon we had some important tests to do, try a long run and modify something on the bike, but unfortunately it didnt work well and I wasnt fast enough. It looks like we followed the wrong direction, so after the interviews well go back to the box to try to understand better for tomorrow and we hope that we can improve. Being in Phillip Island with the good weather and riding the M1 all day is always difficult, because its hard work, but its also a great pleasure, so I think this is a good birthday gift.”
Alex Rins: “Today we tried different things; some new specs of the chassis and also the new fairings. I feel comfortable. We took a big step since yesterday. Step-by-step, lap-by-lap, I can take better lines and so I can be more consistent. We could improve a lot in the third sector. We are more consistent than yesterday, we gained a lot of corner speed and I’m happy we are working in the right direction.”
Andrea Iannone: “Today’s been hard because we could not find a way to improve the lap time. We are at a point where we still have work to do. Although, looking at the pace, I’m not that bad and it’s better than yesterday. I still don’t have 100% control of the machine; it’s only the second test, little-by-little. I need to understand how to attack the track to achieve a better lap time and how to best read the GSX-RR, but I believe this will come with time, after riding longer and longer. At the moment, we are focused on many aspects. We have many positives and we are working hard on our negatives.”
Marc Marquez: “It’s been a day of really hard work, and I’m a little bit tired, but it was the plan we had for today with the team and we did it! Together with my Engineers we decided to do many laps to try a few things, and we focused on riding as consistently as possible, trying to avoid any mistakes. I also did two long runs at the end of the day, to try different configurations of the electronics, and that allowed us to gather a lot of information. Anyway, as I said yesterday, we’re still missing something, because I’m not 100% comfortable, but we’re working in a good way. Hopefully these two long runs will allow us to find the areas where we can take a step forward. I also tried a new Michelin front tire and tomorrow we’ll try the rear one, as today we had no time to do it.”
Dani Pedrosa: “Unfortunately, near the end of yesterday’s session I started feeling a bit strange and things got worse overnight. This morning I couldn’t have breakfast as I wasn’t feeling good in my stomach and I had a bit of a fever and no strength. I could eat absolutely nothing until around 2 o’clock, so I just waited. I tried to do some laps in the afternoon, starting slowly, and although I improved a little lap by lap, I didn’t push hard. Anyway, now I’m feeling better and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be in better shape for the final day of the test.”