MotoGP: Viñales is Top Gun at Day 2 of testing in Sepang

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Simon, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Simon

    Simon Professional storyteller
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    Mar 25, 2015
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    Yamaha pilot Maverick Viñales got within just 0.067 of Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest ever lap of Sepang on Day 2 of testing, with the 1:58.830 set by Lorenzo last season – although not an official lap record – now surely under threat on Day 3. Top gun Viñales had been hovering in third for much of the latter part of the day before he dug deep to light up the timesheets. More than three tenths up before the final sector, the Spaniard eventually crossed the line 0.527 ahead of nearest rival Alex Rins on the Suzuki.

    Viñales said: ““Honestly, we tried to work really hard today on the race pace. We were always using the spec for the race. I felt good and around midday we made good lap times, especially during the race simulation when it was hot, without grip, so I’m actually really happy how we worked today. We made a good improvement on the bike, so we need to try to do this again tomorrow.”

    The #12 bike’s performance built on a positive first day on the timesheets for the factory Yamaha squad, and Valentino Rossi added to the good vibes by taking sixth place. The veteran Italian did 51 laps and was only two tenths off second, although the distance to his teammate stretched out from there.

    Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli ended the day in P14 and P15 respectively – and the Frenchman had a 2019 bike as he made that key step forward. They both did 58 laps.

    Alex Rins was the man who lost his top spot to Viñales after seeming set to end the day fastest, but the Spaniard’s 1:59.424 was nevertheless an incredible laptime and he did 61 laps on Thursday. However, rookie teammate Joan Mir struggled and ended the day in P21 after 64 laps.

    On Rins’ tail was the fastest Ducati on Day 2 and once again it was an independent team rider – this time Pramac’s Jack Miller. The Australian was a late mover like those above him and was only a tenth off Rins by the end of play, putting in 49 laps. Just behind him came Andrea Dovizioso, who was the fastest factory Ducati and looked set to top the day’s action until the late flurry of fast laps saw him pushed down to fourth. Initially the number 04 was working on frames, and Team Manager Davide Tardozzi confirmed that teammate Danilo Petrucci was focused on finding a better connection between the throttle and the rear tyre – working on the electronics and engine. Roles were then reversed, and Tardozzi also confirmed the Borgo Panigale factory also had some work on aero planned. Petrucci ended the day in ninth with Avintia’s pipping him on his GP18 to end Thursday in P7. Francesco Bagnaia was fastest rookie in P12 on the other Pramac bike.

    LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow continued his recovery from a badly damaged ankle to take fifth overall and end the day as fastest Honda. The Brit managed 53 laps to end the session within just 0.004 of Dovizioso. He also suffered a minor crash; but walked away unharmed.

    Next up for Honda was eighth placed Marc Marquez, who put in 37 laps on Day 2 before stopping to rest his shoulder. Crutchlow’s LCR Honda team-mate Takaaki Nakagami took P10 after 60 laps, with Stefan Bradl (Honda Test Team) taking P16 after 59 laps.

    The KTM factory team continues to struggle, but Johann Zarco ended the day as fastest Austrian machine for the first time since his switch to the marque. The Frenchman dipped below the two-minute mark for the first time, and he ended the day in P11 after 58 laps. Team-mate Pol Espargaro was P17 and just over three tenths off the Frenchman. KTM test rider Mika Kallio was a couple of places back, and just pipped KTM Tech 3 rookie Miguel Oliveira. Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin had a tougher day, outside the top twenty.

    Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro ended the day in P13 after 54 laps, with Iannone in P18 after 39. Romano

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