Monster Energy Yamaha team conclude Sepang test on a high ahead of Qatar

by Robert Jones

After three days of highly competitive testing, Monster Energy Yamaha leave Malaysia having gained valuable information and two riders raring to go. 

On days one and two it was Maverick Vinales who led the way for the team, while Valentino Rossi finished fastest on Sunday. 

Both men regularly had three bikes during the test, with the option of testing the new 2020 machine and 2019 version. 

Vinales put together an astonishing 83 laps on the final day and was content with how the day played out: “I‘m feeling very positive, because today we improved the bike quite a lot, especially the race set-up.

I didn‘t have enough time left to make one hot lap but, doing things like this, I kept a bit calmer. We were really concentrated on working on the feeling and it seems to be good.”

Much like his rivals, Vinales concentrated on race pace instead of a time attack with the circuit in perfect condition. 

“On race tyres with a race set-up we had a good pace, I felt quite competitive. But we also noticed points that we are going to try to improve in Qatar.

We are now going to work very hard to accomplish those improvements and we will see if the bike works the same way in Qatar as it did here.”

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It was roles reversed for Rossi, who worked on finding the right balance of the bike over the first two days with race pace more the line of thinking. 

On Sunday, the Italian demonstrated the speed he still has and was happy with the weekend’s work: “We are happy with these three days. Today was a good day because I did a very good lap time in the time attack.

It‘s the first time for me to be in the 1‘58s, so this is positive, also because we are in P5 and very close to the top.

We worked a lot, also on the pace, and we tried different things. Some were good, others weren‘t. We have to work hard because everybody is so fast, but the test was positive.” 

Both riders will be in action on the 22nd of February for another three day test in Qatar ahead of the season opener beginning March 8th.

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