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Day 2 was Yamaha domination at the Sepang Test, with Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made it a 1-2 for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP. Fast forward a day and the story is a little different, with both riders suffering a more difficult final day - on the timesheets at least. Rossi explained their troubles were largely with grip, but says the conclusion overall remains positive.
“It was hard work today, but also good work,” says the rider from Tavullia. “First of all, we tried everything and we have pretty clear ideas, but today was the most difficult day. We suffered a little bit more because of a lack of grip and that made us lose a bit in positions, but compared to last year we've improved the pace, also on used tyres. We know it's hard work, we have to improve, but the test at the end was quite positive.”
Grip has been a buzzword for the Iwata marque in 2017, and caused their key issues. And although Rossi was up in P8 after a final run, Viñales ended the day in P18. He’s well within the top ten on combined times by virtue of his Day 2 laptime, but the rider from Roses had an uphill struggle on Tuesday.
#SepangTest: Riders' reactions from Day 3
“Honestly, we worked quite well,” begins Viñales, but that didn’t mean everything went perfectly: “Today it's been difficult. I don't know why we lost time, especially in the afternoon - in the morning it went quite well. Anyway, we worked hard, trying to improve, so now we have to check the data and see what we can improve on in Buriram, there we'll know more.”
That’s coming up soon enough within a couple of weeks – and Viñales, as well as reevaluating the outcome from Sepang, says they’ll also use that to further test the new aero-fairing.
“I think the new fairing is really positive because I felt an improvement in acceleration, so let's see,” he explains. “I think the circuit in Buriram has many points of acceleration, so we can test it even better there.”
Another three days of testing begin on February 16th.
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