Valentino Rossi was in bullish mood at the end of day two at the Sepang test after Movistar Yamaha claimed a 1-2 at the top of the timesheets. The YZR-M1 was sporting a brand new aero fairing as the team seek to overcome their tyre-wear problems that plagued them in 2018 and the initial signs appear to be positive.
Speaking on Monday evening, Rossi explained where the new fairing plays to his advantage and hopes to see the upward trend continue on the final day on Tuesday.
“I’m happy about the second day because we worked well and finished our programme for today. We tried some big and small details and some things were good and some things were less good. For example, I like the aerodynamics, and I was able to improve my pace and lap times. I think I did my personal best here in Sepang today, because a 1’59.3s is good. It’s very tight, all the top riders are very strong, so that will be interesting. I’m very happy to be there at the front. I like the fairing more than last year’s because I have more protection and – because I’m a bit big and tall – that’s what I need, so that’s good. The ducts – that are not wings – are good because the bike has less wheelie and that gives us more front contact. It looks like we’re also quite fast in the straight and so it was a good day.”
Team-mate Maverick Vinales was fastest overall on Monday and hopes to see more signs of progress in tomorrow’s race simulation.
“The second day went really well. I felt really good with the bike. We‘ve been working especially on the electronics, but there’s still work to do. We have a long way to go to set up the electronics correctly, but I‘m happy with the steps we‘ve made. We tried to work in hot conditions, especially around midday and we’ll follow the same plan tomorrow. We‘re trying to improve a lot in hot conditions, to solve the problems we had last year. I think it was a positive day and I‘m ready to work some more tomorrow.”