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Movistar Yamaha Make Positive Start to Sepang Test

Movistar Yamaha Make Positive Start to Sepang Test

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After a long winter wait, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were back on track today for the first Official IRTA MotoGP Test of the 2018 season, held at the Sepang International Circuit. The first day of the three-day pre-season outing in Malaysia gave both riders a chance to get to know their new YZR-M1s and to start working through a number of test items. The teammates completed their first day back aboard their Yamahas in 6th and 13th place respectively.

Viñales was also eager to get going aboard his YZR-M1 this morning, to do a race simulation and start working on the electronics and engine specifications together with his teammate. The Spaniard came prepared with a special Sepang Test helmet too, with a design inspired by the famous artist Salvador Dali, and held fourth place at the end of his morning runs.

The 23-year-old looked comfortable out on track in the afternoon and he continued to put in lap after lap. As the pace of the field started to pick up in the drier conditions, he temporarily took over top billing from Rossi, clocking an impressive 2'00.758s. The competition got more and more heated towards the end of the day, but Viñales stuck to his testing schedule. He dropped a 2'00.714s on lap 55/72, which ultimately earned him 13th place, 1.287s from the front.

Maverick Viñales

Position: 13th - Time: 2'00.714 - Laps: 72

"I've been working really hard, especially when the temperature was higher, trying to reproduce a race day. I'm quite happy, we've improved a lot since this morning and I think we have a good package. Especially after tomorrow and the day after, I think we'll leave with a really good bike, so I'm quite happy and enthusiastic about that. Anyway, we need to keep working and need to stay on the pace. I feel good on the bike and that's the most important thing. At the moment I didn't try any different chassis, I focused on electronics and many different settings, so let's see tomorrow. As I said, I think after the next few days we're going to leave with a good package and make the right steps. I want to make laps and understand everything."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"The first day is done, and we are pleased with the start we've made. The first test in Sepang is always important, because you want to set the tone right for the rest of the season. I knew both riders were extremely curious to see how their 2018 YZR-M1s would perform, compared to what they tried during the tests in Valencia and Sepang at the end of last year. We were able to get in a lot of laps and had a positive day. The main focus today was to confirm our findings from November. both riders mainly worked on the electronics and also tried two engine specifications with good feedback. Our first impression of the tyre wear has been positive too. It's very encouraging to see both riders feel comfortable on the bike already. We are looking forward to keep on working over the next two days and make further steps, if the weather allows it."