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Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has had quite an impressive debut in blue, topping all four of the tests so far undertaken for the season, including every outing in 2017. So how was it test-by-test?
The first test of the year had Viñales out front overall, kicking off in P3. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP had also tested at the venue prior to Official Test, and Viñales hit the ground running when back at the track. Second on the second day, the Spaniard focused on race pace – before Day 3 saw him strike back to top the timesheets and surprise himself with a 1:59 (a 1:59.368, to be precise.) He even said he believed the bike was the best over one lap, and the best on race pace.
Optimistic on the way in and optimistic on the way out, Viñales was quickest once again to top the timesheets from Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez by almost three tenths, and the two shared the track for the first time in 2017…
In addition, the gap back to teammate Valentino Rossi by the end of Phillip Island was almost a second at 0.921, as the two sides of the Yamaha garage suffered different fortunes Down Under. Another test, and another optimistic new kid on the block.
After a Ducati-dominated Day 1, Viñales struck back on Day 2 and was quickest yet again. The new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider made it four out of four tests as he kept his new machine at the fore – and once again kept a healthy gap to teammate Rossi of four tenths. The Spaniard also stated he believed he had a little time in hand.
The number 46 commented that Viñales and his side of the garage seem to have been able to unlock more of the potential of the M1 more quickly – with potential a key word following preseason as Viñales seems the man with the most heading into the first race. But potential isn’t the only thing needed to win – and the Spaniard now faces the task of converting his pace into points as the Qatar GP approaches.
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Viñales: "We can still improve"