Pre-season MotoGP testing wrapped up at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this week with Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales, Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone and Honda’s Marc Marquez the best-performed individuals.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team wrapped up the first official IRTA test of the 2017 season today at Sepang with its rider, Viñales and Valentino Rossi, having spent the three days working through various testing items to further develop their YZR-M1s. They secured first and sixth place respectively in the overall standings.
After three days of testing, Team Suzuki Ecstar also locked away crucial information from its riders Iannone and Alex Rins.
Iannone’s focus for the final day was to work on the race pace and the 1:59.452 he achieved put him second overall in the combined classification of the test.
Day three’s timesheets suggested Andrea Iannone did not scale the heights of what had gone before, but the final day of testing at Sepang gave the Italian assurances that Suzuki’s GSX-RR can “stay at the top, all race” long.
Rather than chasing a lap time on soft rubber, Iannone persisted with used tyres throughout day three, working on race pace in an attempt to further improve Suzuki’s electronics package.
He ended day three tenth fastest, 0.677s off pace setter Viñales. However, his fastest time from day two was enough to place second overall on the combined time sheets, a feat that also underlined the bike’s potential for one lap pace.
Though the focus of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team riders Viñales (pictured here) and Rossi was still solely on improving the technical aspects, the Spaniard and Italian took first and fifth place respectively in the final day’s time sheets and first and sixth in the overall 2017 Sepang MotoGP Official Test results.
Viñales showed once again that his riding style matches perfectly with the YZR-M1’s nimble character. He dropped various hot laps before posting his fastest time of the day, a 1’59.368s on lap 40, to slot into first place in the rankings. With a margin of 0.138s ahead of his closest rival, he comfortably held his position until the end of the session after shifting his attention to the last details of his bike’s setting.
A few spots of rain in the afternoon had the young rider sit in the pit box before he could resume his testing programme. As soon as the conditions improved Viñales had his final go on the YZR-M1 and had enough minutes left to end the test with a time attack. Though unable to beat his own best lap, he is leaving the Sepang track feeling confident, having completed 72 laps.
Rossi also didn’t let any time go to waste on the last opportunity of testing in Malaysia. He filled his morning session with evaluating a new tyre for Michelin and building on his findings from the previous testing days.
Similar to team-mate Viñales, Rossi was eager to start his afternoon session as soon as track conditions allowed. His fastest lap from the morning was a 2’00.125s, putting him in eleventh place, 0.756s from the top, but the man they call “The Doctor” had a trick up his sleeve. Once he got back out on track he fully committed to improving his position in the rankings and set the fourth fastest time, a 1’59.589s, 0.221s from first, on lap 50 of 62. He ended the test day in fifth place as the pace quickened in the final minutes.
The teams will now ready themselves for Phillip Island, in Australia, from February 15-17th for the second pre-season test of 2017.
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SEPANG TEST – Combined classification after day three:
- Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:59.368 – Session 3
- Andrea IANNONE, Team Suzuki Ecstar – 1:59.452 +0.084 – Session 2
- Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1:59.506 +0.138 – Session 3
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1:59.553 +0.185 – Session 3
- Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1:59.578 +0.210 – Session 3
- Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:59.589 +0.221 – Session 3
- Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:59.628 +0.260 – Session 3
- Casey STONER, Ducati Test Team – 1:59.639 +0.271 – Session 3
- Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1:59.728 +0.360 – Session 3
- Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1:59.767 +0.399vSession 3
- Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:59.772 +0.404 – Session 3
- Alex RINS, Team Suzuki Ecstar – 2:00.057 +0.689 – Session 3
- Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:00.108 +0.740 – Session 3
- Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 2:00.310 +0.942 – Session 3
- Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:00.312 +0.944 – Session 3
- Hector BARBERA, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 2:00.352 +0.984 – Session 2
- Jack MILLER, Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:00.439 +1.071 – Session 3
- Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2:00.445 +1.077 – Session 3
- Scott REDDING, Octo Pramac Racing – 2:00.645 +1.277 – Session 3
- Loris BAZ, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 2:00.873 +1.505 – Session 3
- Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:01.338 +1.970 – Session 1
- Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:01.338 +1.970 – Session 3
- Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:01.341 +1.973 – Session 3
- Michele PIRRO, Ducati Test Team – 2:01.382 +2.014 – Session 2
- Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Yamaha Factory Test Team – 2:01.658 +2.290 – Session 3
- Takuya TSUDA, Suzuki Test Team – 2:01.812 +2.444 – Session 1
- Kouta NOZANE, Yamaha Factory Test Team – 2:02.187 +2.819 – Session 1
- Tito RABAT, Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:02.189 +2.821 – Session 2