Maverick Viñales got down to work on the first day of the MotoGP Official Test at the Losail circuit in Qatar on Friday, securing the second fastest time overall. The Spaniard completed multiple stints throughout the late afternoon and evening, in preparation for the first round of the 2017 MotoGP season to be held at the same circuit in just two weeks‘ time.
Viñales continued his strong pre-season campaign with high confidence. He got up to speed quickly on the YZR-M1, developing a good feeling early on, and went on to set a provisional fastest time of 1‘55.734s with three hours of the session left.
In between a total of 60 laps, he provided valuable feedback as he worked on the testing programme. Viñales focused primarily on tyre degradation, fuel consumption, both important points at the Losail Circuit, as well as finding a good race set-up. He posted a best lap of 1‘55.179s on lap 49, to clinch second in today‘s timesheets, 0.360s from first.
“I have a good feeling after the first day in Qatar,” he said. “I felt good with the bike already from the first lap, I was fast and, you know, that‘s a good thing. We‘ve been to four different tracks and I feel good at each one. This means I adapted well to the bike and we improved a lot.”
“All the time we are bettering the race pace and each first and last lap on the same tyre is quite similar, so I‘m happy and I‘m quite surprised that we improved on every run. We wanted to work a lot on the race pace, it‘s important here. In Qatar it matters a lot to have a good pace because the tyre drops quite a lot, especially on the left side. Tomorrow it‘s our plan to make the tyre life last longer and make the lap times more consistent, so we‘re going to work on that.”