“Really good” race simulation for Viñales on Day 3

Leading non-Ducati rider, a further 79 laps complete at the Sepang Test and a really impressive long run pace for the Spaniard

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) ended Day 3 at the Sepang Test in P5 on the timesheets after setting a 1:58.644 – faster than Jorge Lorenzo’s (Repsol Honda Team) old lap record, but 0.405 slower than Friday’s fastest rider Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati).

However, Viñales was upbeat about how the test went. “Well, (it was) really good,” he began, describing his feeling on the 2019 YZR-M1. “I actually missed one time attack in the morning which I planned to make in the afternoon but finally it was so hot that the tyre was sliding a lot, so I couldn’t improve my laptime from the morning.”

The Spaniard completed the most laps of any rider on the final day and during so, he completed a very impressive race simulation which consisted of 20 laps on the 1:59s and 2:00s.

“But anyway I’m really happy because on the race simulation I felt really good. I was really tired, but I feel really good on the bike.”

And about the new engine? “Here we only had one so I concentrated a lot to try and improve the acceleration side and we did it, so that’s important. Day by day the bike is working pretty similar, not like last year when it was good then bad.”

Viñales also emerged with a new fairing on his number 12 machine, but it wasn’t clear cut as to whether or not Yamaha would continue to use it in Qatar: “Yes always, you get positive and negative. Now we have to come to a conclusion to see if we can bring it to Qatar.”

Maverick Vinales, Monster Energy Yamaha Motogp, MotoGP™ Sepang Winter Test

And finally, Viñales was asked about him and teammate Valentino Rossi heading out on track together. Something we saw the Mission Winnow Ducati riders doing on Thursday, and something that can have major benefits when trying to understand where the bike needs to improve.

“For sure you get positive things because you see what the other (rider) is doing better, and what you are doing better,” explained Viñales. “It’s also important to see how the bike is performing from behind because I made some laps behind the Ducatis and Hondas. So I can see how our bike is working, and it’s not bad, there’s only small details and that’s the most important thing. Last year we were some steps behind, and now we are closer.”

In 15 days, Viñales and his rivals will be back out for the three-day Qatar Test. Who will impress under the lights on 23rd, 24th and 25th February as the final countdown to the season opener gets underway. 

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole motogp.com video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass