Rossi and Viñales Conclude Successful Sepang MotoGP Test
With a few weeks until the 2020 MotoGP season kick-offs in Qatar, the ENEOS-sponsored Yamaha MotoGP team completed its first official IRTA test session at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales tested various features of the 2020 YZR-M1 bike, confirming positive results for the R&D team after a three-day session, resulting in fifth and 16th place respectively in the combined standings.
Working on a tight schedule, Rossi focused on helping the team gather valuable data and feedback, using a time attack session to his advantage and earning his fifth place finish with a fastest lap of 1:58.541 (only 0.192sec behind first).
“It’s my first time reaching the 1:58s,” said Rossi. “We worked hard and tried different things since everybody is so fast. We’re very happy with the positive results.”
Viñales pushed to complete his race simulation through the Malaysian heat to help the team get a better understanding of the YZR-M1’s race pace, but weather kept him from his time attack session. As a result, he recorded a best lap of 1:58.893 on Day 2, which was good enough for a 16th place finish.
“We didn’t have enough time to make one hot lap, but our setup is good and feels competitive for Qatar,” Viñales said. “We have a few things to improve before the race and we’ll see if the bike works the same way as it did here [at Sepang].”
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team returns to Europe, while the Yamaha engineers return home to Japan to process data in preparation for the Qatar event taking place on February 24, 2020.