Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have been warming up for the second official pre-season test in the Philippines on duty with Yamaha engagements.

The factory Yamaha riders will be in action for the first time at the Buriram circuit in Thailand between February 16-18 but before the second pre-season test both Rossi and Vinales took time out to meet fans and honour manufacturer commitments in the Philippines.

The two riders were joined by Yamaha President Toru Osugi, sales and marketing director Akihiro Maruo, motorsport boss Kouichi Tsuji and Yamaha MotoGP managing director Lin Jarvis in Manila to visit the newly-opened Yamaha Monumento Station before Rossi and Vinales received a ‘Walk of Fame’ name plaque in the floor of the station.

After a second promotional event, the pair headed to the a local dealer conference to present Yamaha’s new MIO model bikes.

Reflecting on the latest stage of his Asian tour, Rossi says he was taken aback by the local area’s passion for all things two-wheels and is eager to get back to testing at new track Buriram.

“Like every year, before the tests, we do this Asian tour and it is the second time that I went to Manila. It's always nice to go there because their passion for motorcycles is really incredible,” Rossi said. “Now we focus on the test, because tomorrow we will be on track and it will be a new circuit for everyone. The test in Sepang was positive and now I want to start work in Thailand to improve our M1 again.”

Vinales has echoed his Yamaha teammate’s sentiments and is keen to restart testing in Thailand. The Buriram circuit is set for its MotoGP debut in 2018 with the three-day test this weekend as part of its preparations to host its maiden race in early October.

“I really enjoyed the event yesterday in the Philippines, it was incredible how many people attended the event in Manila,” Vinales said. “The venue was really nice and the crowds there are always very friendly and passionate about MotoGP, this gives me extra motivation to do them proud on the new track. I will now focus on the test in Buriram, because I’m impatient to ride my M1 at this new circuit.”


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