News 30 Jan 2018

Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2 on second day of testing

Pramac Racing's Miller again displays top five speed on Monday.

Image: Supplied.

Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales went quickest on day two of MotoGP testing at Sepang, just beating teammate Valentino Rossi to the top late on as the factory duo put in some time-attack laps.

The Yamaha duo at the top did a 1m59.355s and a 1m59.390s respectively, as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was third quickest after managing a 1m59.443s – the trio separated by just 0.088s.

It was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro who led the way early, with action slow to get in gear following some overnight rain. Some of the biggest headlines on Monday were aero fairings, with Honda and Yamaha riders all trying some of this year’s evolutions.

Crutchlow had the carbon-black Honda version to try out on HRC test duty, before Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both tried the innovation at Repsol Honda. At Yamaha, some of the new changes previously seen on test riders’ machines were on show too, with both Vinales and Rossi trying them out.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was the next man on the time-sheets, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) impressing once more to complete the top five and only 0.011s off Lorenzo. He managed to break into the 1m59s club and did 44 laps in the process.

Behind that top five, there was a slightly bigger gap back to sixth, which was Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), ahead of Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P10.

Suzuki looks to move forward with their changes made for 2018, saying their engine last season had been a mistake in direction. The Italian suffered some early drama however when his GSX-RR caught fire and caused him to pull over, but got back out soon after. Teammate Alex Rins was 13th.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was close to the top 10 as the Noale factory continue to evaluate their winter mission for, amongst other things, more horsepower. Teammate Scott Redding was further down the time-sheets as he gets to grips with his switch to the RS-GP.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was the only rider who didn’t improve and he was P12 after topping day one, but his fastest lap from the first day is the third fastest overall on combined times. Pol Espargaro was 14th and did only 22 laps due to a crash, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) splitting the two Red Bull KTM riders to take 15th, two tenths ahead of Bradley Smith in 16th.

Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) struck back in the battle of the rookies on Monday despite two crashes, 17th on the second day and managing to stay three tenths clear of fellow rookie Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) in P21.

Detailed results