Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi carried on with their 2019 pre-season testing programme today. The teammates took 4th and 17th place respectively in the Jerez MotoGP Official Test timesheets whilst working on the new engine spec.

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 28th November 2018

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back in action today at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto for the first day of the Jerez MotoGP Official Test. They continued to compare the new engine evolution, taking 4th and 17th place respectively in today's rankings.

 

The riders had to be patient at the start of the eight-hour session. The cool track conditions made for a two-and-a-half hour wait before they could put their YZR-M1s to work.

 

Viñales was joined in the pit box by new crew chief Esteban García for the first time today. Once the track was sufficiently warm, they decided to work on race pace and making a lot of kilometres as preparation for the 2019 season. The Spaniard soon found a good rhythm and he comfortably began chipping away at his time, while leaving the base setting the same. With a bit more than an hour left on the clock, he decided to pick up the pace. He soon posted a best lap of 1'38.376s to temporarily take over the top of the standings.

 

At the end of the session the times dropped and the number 12 rider was pushed back to third. He couldn't resist to make a last push on his final three-lap stint, bringing his total to 58 laps, but he still ended the day in fourth position, 0.408s from the front.

 

Rossi joined the track just before 1pm today, eager to further improve the acceleration, the smooth power delivery of the engine, and the overall performance of his Yamaha. The Doctor had set himself the objective to only focus on the testing and got straight to work. He completed 50 laps in total, which he solely used to compare the new engine specs and new Michelin tyres.

 

Though the Doctor put a halt to one of his late afternoon runs, he was able to finish today's testing programme. His best lap, a 1'39.564s set on lap 28, put him in 17th place in today's standings, 1.596s from first.

Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider

We tried the same engine as we used in Valencia, to try to understand which way we should go. This track is even more difficult for us than Valencia, there it’s easier to make a good lap time, so I’m quite happy that today we were so consistent with many laps on the tyre. The track was a bit slippery for our bike today, but the M1 was working well, so I think the decision is more or less made, but we still have to check. I prefer riding with more engine brake, because for my riding style it helps a lot. I’m quite curious to see what happens tomorrow when we start modifying the set-up a little. Let’s see if we can be more competitive. I think we can still improve the electronics and the base set-up a lot, because the bike works a bit different now and it permits me to enter the corner faster, so we need to change the setting, because I can ride more naturally now. It was a good first day with Esteban. It was good to reconnect, he’s a really calm person, so we work well together. We were on top for a while today, so I’m happy.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider

At the end my position in the timesheets is really bad, also because we had some problems with the new tyres, so I didn’t do a time-attack. My pace is a little bit better, but I have to check the data more thoroughly. We continued to test the engine, we made some comparisons. The direction to go in and the decision is quite clear. I started riding on new tyres, but at one point I heard a strange noise, so I stopped. I sincerely don’t know what happened yet.