Viñales and Rossi Complete 2020 MotoGP Losail Testing
ENEOS-sponsored riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have recently completed winter testing for the 2020 MotoGP Official Test Losail in Qatar on February 24, 2020. The duo representing ENEOS-sponsored Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP finished the test in first and 12th place respectively in the overall standings. Their strategy consisted of waiting for temperatures to mimic the expected conditions for the upcoming Qatar GP, and they spent the weekend fine tuning their YZR-M1 motorcycles.
Viñales went all out, increasing his pace on the final day after using the first two days to find a good balance for his bike. He rode on used tires most of the time, and used the final hour to put in a time attack, setting a time of 1:53.858 on lap 69, which put him in P1 and first place in the weekend’s combined results, 0.033sec ahead of second place.
“It’s been six days of testing and I feel good on the bike,” Viñales said. “Working with used tires gives you a different feeling, especially when conditions aren’t good, so it’s training me how to react in those situations. I can’t wait for the first race weekend, especially on the grid.”
Rossi focused on maintaining tire life during his Losail testing, and although he was inside the top-3 midway through his runs, the cooler and more humid conditions caught him out. This resulted in a small crash on lap 28 and prevented him from improving on his fastest lap time of 1:54.332. For his efforts, Rossi finished 12th overall on the combined timesheets, 0.474sec behind Viñales.
“This season’s competition is incredible because there are 15 riders within maybe half a second,” said Rossi. “It’ll be good for the championship, our fans and the races with such a good balance. We experienced similar problems with the tires as last year, which unfortunately caused me to slow down. But we’ll have to see how it goes; it’s always different come race day.”
Viñales and Rossi take on the Grand Prix of Qatar from March 6-8, 2020.