Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino
Rossi have started their 2019 MotoGP pre-season testing programme at the
Sepang International Circuit today. The new bike livery was a hot topic on the
first of the three riding days in Malaysia, but for the team the focus lay solely
on improving the bike’s performance. After a full-on day of testing, the team-mates
took third and sixth place respectively
in today’s time sheets.
Viñales had been looking forward to riding again for months, and it showed. He headed out of pit lane aboard his no.12 YZR-M1 just after 10:40 (GMT+8), a few
minutes after his team-mate. He was quick to put his name towards the top of
the rankings, moving up to fourth place on his first run.
Having refamiliarised himself with the
Sepang track, he then put his attention towards trying the various testing
items, and with success. The Spaniard set a 1’59.937s for provisional second place on lap 28/63 around midday, before finalising his testing programme.
Though he couldn’t beat his own time in the hot afternoon, he is feeling
confident having completed the session in third
place, 0.316s from first.
Rossi also didn’t let any time go to waste on the first day of testing in
Malaysia. He was quick to head out on track, to start a packed morning of testing.
Though he was mainly concerned with
building on his findings from the previous testing days in Spain, he steadily
gained pace in the first two hours on track. His fastest lap from his morning runs
was a 2’00.054s, set on lap 22/56, that initially put him in fourth
place. He was unable to further improve his position in the time sheets due to
the change in track conditions in the afternoon, but his best effort from this
morning kept him in sixth place, 0.433s from the top.