Movistar Yamaha rider once again tops the timesheets to make it a clean sweep of P1 on the AusTest timesheets
New kid on the Yamaha block Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has done it again at Phillip Island, going even faster on Day 3 to top the timesheets once more. Fastest on Day 2 and fastest during testing at Sepang and Valencia, the Spaniard has hit the ground running in his new MotoGP™ home – ending the Australia test ahead of the Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez in second and Dani Pedrosa in third.
Viñales put in a 1:28.549 early in his impressive day’s work; a time unthreatened until the final flag. Completing 101 laps and able to put in 1:28 laps in a row, the Spaniard also managed to rake in the laps in the 1:29 bracket in another ominous show of form. His teammate – nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi – ended Day 3 in P11 and 0.921s in arrears. The “Doctor” did a best of 1:29.470 in the third session, but is bumped down to P12 on combined times.
The fastest rookie on Days 1 and 2 kept his crown on the third and final day of testing, as Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) shot up into P4. The German, who did an incredible 1:29.042, also suffered a crash but remained just ahead of 2016 Australian GP winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda). Folger’s teammate, two-time Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco, ended the #AusTest P15 on combined times with a 1:29.670.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing made a huge leap up in laptime on the third and final day at Phillip Island. Both riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith put in laps under the 1:30 barrier, with the Spaniard’s best a 1:29.857 and the Brit’s a 1:29.978. Both within a second and a half of P1, the timesheets bode well for the Austrian factory as the road to Qatar gets shorter.
Next up is Losail International Circuit for another test – the last – before the lights go out at the same venue and 2017 hits the gas.
The RacerViews information
By Leonard Smith, February 2017
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