Maverick Viñales believes that the three-day test at Sepang was really positive for him and the Monster Energy Yamaha team.
The Spaniard ended the final day in fifth place, however he was one of six riders to beat the existing lap record (unofficial) held by Jorge Lorenzo. Viñales’ fastest lap-time was a 1:58.644, and he completed more laps than anybody else (79).
The 24-year-old also completed a 20-lap race simulation, posting consistent lap-times within the 1:59 and 2:00s brackets. Today’s results again showed Viñales’ improving pace, after he topped the timing sheets on day two.
Overall, Viñales was left feeling happy with the performance of his bike:
“The test was really good. I actually missed one time attack in the morning which I planned to make in the afternoon, but finally it was so hot that the tyre was sliding a lot, so I couldn’t improve my lap time from the morning. Anyway, I’m happy because on the race simulation I felt really good. I was really tired, but I felt good on the bike.
“Day by day the bike was working pretty similar, as in the last test. You always get positives and negatives testing new items. Now we have to come to a conclusion to see if we should bring the new fairing to Qatar. I also made some laps behind our rivals, so I could compare how our bike is working, and it’s not bad. There are just some small details left and that’s the most important. Last year they were some steps ahead, and now we are closer.”
Yamaha’s engineers will now assess the data from the Sepang test, ahead of the final pre-season test at Qatar towards the end of the month (February 23-25).
This will be the final opportunity for Rossi to test his 2019 machine before the season opener, at the same circuit, on March 10.