Maverick Vinales is still searching for acceleration gains as he orders Yamaha to stay grounded despite lighting up the times on day two at the Sepang MotoGP test.

The Monster Yamaha rider went 0.067s off the unofficial MotoGP lap record at the Malaysian circuit, set by Jorge Lorenzo for Ducati during last year’s pre-season test, in his late time attack to set the headline-grabbing time on day two at Sepang.

While Vinales admits even he was impressed by his own lap time of 1m 58.897s he feels Yamaha’s hunt of performance improvements can’t be overlooked in its recovery from a poor previous 18 months.

“Yes I feel much better on the bike than last year already in the first test but it is nothing yet,” Vinales said. “We have to keep our feet on the ground and improve every day.

“Tomorrow is important to improve with the full tank and see what we can do to solve the problems and then to keep the pace at the end of the race. I am trying now with a full tank but not really over 20 laps in a row. Let’s see what I can do tomorrow with 20 laps in a row and it can be more clear.”



Vinales is running the basic setup which he felt strong with at November’s post-season Jerez test, but isn’t certain if the rest of the Yamaha riders are following his personal breakthrough, as he focuses on improving the Japanese manufacturer’s key weakness felt by all riders last season: acceleration out of corners.

“I am using a pretty similar [setup] to Jerez and I like when I can feel the bike,” he said. “In Phillip Island and Buriram we didn’t really touch the bike so it is pretty much the same bike. When I can feel the front and I can slide the bike it is what I like.

“Honestly there is not much to touch just trying to get used to the electronics and trying to get used to it and improve a little bit more from myself. That’s what we did today trying to improve on the acceleration side, under acceleration we have to improve because in the corners we are quite fast at top speed. We are strong into the corners now.”

With Yamaha making improvements to the engine specification favoured by both Valentino Rossi and Vinales from the post-season tests, the Spanish rider feels “a compromise” between engine and electronic gains will be key to settle on for a package he can be confident for the season ahead.

“Both, for me, both,” he said when quizzed about engine and electronic improvements. “It is a compromise so let’s see tomorrow.

“I am quite satisfied how I could ride today and how I could push the bike at the maximum already at the second day of the test. Now I can push on the maximum even more for the championship so that’s very important.”


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