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Sepang Testing: Vinales ‘happy and surprised’ by Yamaha performance

Maverick Viñales spends the second day testing Yamaha's new chassis; now feeling 'confident' with tyre durability.
It was another productive day for those in Yamaha colours at Sepang, with Maverick Viñales in particular demonstrating a strong pace on used tyres, that backs up the scintillating outright speed that he has shown since November.

Viñales was one of only two men to duck into the 1m 59s on Tuesday afternoon, ending the day second fastest with a best time of 1m 59.858s, close to four tenths of a second quicker than experienced team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Having playfully swatted aside a question asking whether he was bemused to finish behind Andrea Iannone on his old bike (“Let's say I left them a good set-up here!”), Viñales was most content with his speed on used tyres.

“It's important to be the fastest in Yamaha but it's more important all the work we did today,” said the 22-year old, who has placed first, first, third and second at the close of the four official test days in Valencia and Sepang to date.

“We improved a lot with the race pace. Also with the durability of the tyres. I'm quite confident about that. I know one lap time I can do, because the bike has the speed but it's difficult to get the lap time all the time.

“Today we did many, many laps on the used tyre and I'm quite happy and surprised that the bike is working really well.”

Among the new components he tested on Tuesday was Yamaha's new fairing, which appeared to have internal inlets designed to alter the airflow, which are more than likely designed to compensate for the absence of winglets.

While he sampled it on Tuesday, Viñales was not allowed to comment. “I tested it but I can't say anything,” he said.

“Anyway, all the things the brought – better or worse – but everything is coming better and better. I'm happy with that. Every step we did it's coming in a better way. Also we tried many things; soft, hard, up, down and it's difficult to make one lap when you are trying many things.

“But I can say that I feel good on the bike already. Still I know from my riding style that I can improve. It's just the second day and I'm still a little stiff on the bike. So I'm happy about that [that he can improve].”

On whether he feels he is ready to race with his current set-up, the young Catalan continued, “If we saw the pace, maybe. I'm happy. But still there is a lot of work to do.

“Also on my side there is a lot of work. When you make the break then start on the bike. You always need to work. Maybe in this area or that. Everything helps to go faster. I think we have a good package already. Just we need to modify some small things that could help us ride a little bit easier and faster.”

Wednesday's plans include a race simulation, as well as continued back-to-back testing of Yamaha's new chassis, which has been designed primarily to reduce tyre degradation.

“If my physical condition let me finish then I will do [a race simulation],” he said. “Honestly I feel good on the bike. I feel strong as always. So I will try. We have hard work tomorrow. We'll try with the old and with the new chassis to compare and take one direction.

“[The new chassis aims to improve] Durability of the tyres. That's why I have to make a [race simulation]. I tried it today but only some laps. This [in Sepang] is the first time [that we tested it].”








Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vinales, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, new Suzuki internal-winglet fairing, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Rossi, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017
Iannone, Phillip Island MotoGP Test, February 2017

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