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Movistar Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales have been working hard at the Valencia test comparing 2016 and 2017 versions of their M1, as well as getting a first taste of a new engine intended for 2018. Viñales, who had a tough Valencia GP weekend, was quickest on Day 1 on the same bike he rode in the race - and fifth on Day 2. With better track conditions on Monday, the rider from Roses said Day 2 was a little more difficult but overall ended the test positive:
“We were trying to work on the engine side, trying to understand which direction to take,” explained the Spaniard. “But I’m quite happy, we worked well over the two days...on Tuesday I felt much more comfortable on the bike and on Wednesday track conditions changed a bit but I’m happy and the feeling came again.”
The former Moto3™ Champion did say, however, that the different conditions helped with the comparison between the 2016 and 2017 M1: “It helped us to understand the situation. We’ll try and work even harder in Malaysia and try to get the best way we can on the chassis and engine.”
Movistar Yamaha riders react to positive test in Valencia
With Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) testing the 2017 M1 – and echoing Viñales’ statements on Tuesday that the 2017 bike has more potential – the Movistar team also have data from the Frenchman, with Team Director Massimo Meregalli confirming they always have and always will share data with the Yamaha-supplied Independent Team.
But as Viñales says, Sepang is where the duo will next test the M1, and Meregalli also confirmed that it’s not simply for the track layout that the team will travel to Malaysia – it also gives a good chance of some rain and the opportunity to test in the wet; something that has proved difficult for the Yamaha at times this season.
After 62 laps in seventh, Rossi, meanwhile, spent his second day in Valencia concentrating on the engine and was equally positive: “We had some work to do because we had to decide on and test a different engine. It was a long day but it was positive.” The Italian says that was the key item on the agenda and wouldn’t say what else. “We concentrated on that, we tried something else but nothing great – and in the end it wasn’t so bad!”
Next stop: Malaysia, before the winter break.
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