Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi completed Yamaha’s scheduled testing programme at the Sepang International Circuit on Wednesday where the third and last day was the toughest for the riders as they rode back-to-back stints in hot temperatures to make up for lost time due to Tuesday’s damp track conditions.
Though the focus of the team was still solely on improving the technical aspects, the Spaniard and Italian took first and fifth place respectively in the time sheets and first and sixth in the overall 2017 Sepang MotoGP Official Test results.
In the morning 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 left the Sepang track feeling confident, having completed 72 laps.
“Today again, like yesterday, we worked mainly on the race pace,” he said. “We improved the pace a lot. I am quite surprised I could attain a 1'59 and I am really happy, because it was very fast and the bike was going well. We tried many things during this week, so I think we can have a better package for the next test in Australia.”
“We will bring many good things to Phillip Island. At the moment it is difficult to say which aspect of the bike surprised me most. We are developing the bike, trying to better the package that we have, and I think for sure we have the best bike at the moment for one lap and on race distance. Step by step we are choosing the best things.”