VALENCIA (SPAIN), 21ST NOVEMBER 2018 Despite having to sit out the first three hours of available track time in the pit box again, waiting for the riding conditions to improve, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team were able to complete most of their testing programme on the second day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo.
Similar to yesterday, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi both spent all their testing time getting familiar with the new engine evolution.
Following the same procedure as yesterday, Viñales made his way out on track with more than four hours on the clock. The Spaniard picked up his work on the 2019 engine spec where he had left off and, despite a small crash, proceeded to gradually better his time throughout the day. He rode a total of 57 laps and improved on his personal best from the first day by 0.659s, setting a 1'30.757s lap on his 50th try. He ended the session leading the rankings with a 0.133s advantage over his closest rival. This result puts him in first position in the combined test timesheets.
Rossi arrived at the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pit box around the same time as his teammate, heading out on track in the afternoon. The Doctor was very focused on getting his YZR-M1’s new engine in perfect shape ahead of the 2019 season. He completed 63 laps in total and set a 1'31.371s after completing two-thirds of his testing programme, which was enough to keep him in ninth position in the rankings, 0.614s from today's best time. The lap also earned him ninth place in the overall Valencia test results, as almost all MotoGP riders improved on their best effort on the second day.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI TEAM DIRECTOR: "We’ve made a very productive start to the 2019 pre-season, and we have quite a few things to be positive about. Our wish for some dry testing time was granted, though we had to wait until the afternoon on both days. Still, the hours on track allowed us to get a lot of work done. As announced during the Valencia GP weekend, Maverick and Valentino focused mainly on comparing the new engine evolution to the 2018 engine. The new engines improve the engine braking, and the acceleration is smoother. Both riders really only concentrated on comparing the engines, without touching the chassis setting. They both gave positive and similar feedback on what we tried during this test. We managed to do 60% of what we had scheduled. So far we’re on the right path. Next up is the two-day test at Jerez that will be crucial in preparing for the 2019 season. We're heading in the right direction, so that's our motivation to keep working hard."
MAVERICK VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER: "It has been a positive test. We've been working a lot on improving for the first lap of the race. I'm actually really happy because from the first lap I felt good grip and I could push. There's still work to do to further improve the engine braking and the smoothness of the power, so that's what we will work on in Jerez. It was unlucky that we couldn't ride all day, like we had planned. We couldn't test the engines very well, so we're going to decide after Jerez which of the two we choose. As I said, we need to try more, to be more convinced about the engine decision, but I think we're on the right track. We need to focus on the riding style and getting a smoother bike will be very important, especially when there's no grip during the race, but there is an upgrade coming that will help a lot. In these last two days I only focused on the engine and didn't touch anything concerning the setting. I think we could have improved the set-up for Valencia a lot, but I'm happy that just focusing on the engine we improved by some tenths."
VALENTINO ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER: "We were able to improve compared to yesterday, but unfornately our opponents were able to improve more. Today was a bit more difficult. We tried a different engine and a different spec, but it was similar to the one we tried yesterday so they have more or less the same performance. For now we keep the same material, and next week we will try it again at another track, in Jerez, so there we'll try to understand it in a better way. After that we have to wait for next year. The test in Jerez is important because in the GP there in May we weren't very fast. We need to understand if we're stronger now."
Thursday, 22 November 2018 08:59 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales pushed to the max during today’s Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, putting on a brave ride from 11th on the grid to 4th position over the finish line. Valentino Rossi had a heroic run at the Sepang International Circuit, but it ended in heartbreak on lap 17 when he crashed out of the lead. He was able to rejoin the race and took the chequered flag in 18th place.
Viñales started from 11th on the grid and soon found himself in 10th position. After warming up his tyres on the first two laps, he began his charge. His pace was as strong as the front group, meaning he had no problems cutting through the field, though there was a lot of ground to be made up.
With nine laps to go he took over sixth place from Andrea Dovizioso. The Spaniard didn’t waste any time to also pass Dani Pedrosa. He was trying to close the gap to Álex Rins but was unable to catch him. As his teammate at the front made a small mistake, Viñales crossed the line in fourth place, 4.667s from first.
Rossi had a perfect start from second, taking the hole shot and holding the lead superbly. He had a stunning consistent pace that allowed him to make a clean getaway from his pursuers.
Though his advantage went up and down over the first half of the race, there was no one who could really reach Rossi at the front, let alone make an attempt at passing the nine-time World Champion. However, in the final ten laps the heat and the tyre degradation meant Marc Márquez was closing in.
The Doctor responded by picking up the pace and defended his first place brilliantly, but a small mishap in Turn 1 on lap 17 caused him to slide down the tarmac. He was able to rejoin the race in 18th place and finished in the same position, 58.288s from first.
Today's results see Rossi hold on to third position in the championship standings with a 25-point gap to second. Viñales, in fourth place, reduced the gap to his teammate to 2 points. Yamaha is still in third place in the Constructor Championship after the race in Malaysia, with a 38-point margin to second, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team remain in second position in the team standings, with now a 39-point gap to first.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in two weeks' time for the final showdown of 2018, the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, held from November 16th - 18th.
Sunday, 04 November 2018 14:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After a lengthy wait, due to a monsoon rain shower that hit the Sepang International Circuit directly at the end of FP4, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates were happy to get underway in qualifying. With no prior track time in wet conditions, they had to judge the limit to perfection in the 15-minute shoot-out. Valentino Rossi used his experience to put in a late charge to secure third position on the grid. Although Maverick Viñales made steady progress throughout the session, he will start tomorrow's race from eleventh place.
Rossi opened his qualifying challenge with a 2'13.917s, for a provisional fourth place, but soon found himself in seventh position as the pace picked up. He didn't improve on his next two tries and returned to the pits with slightly more than four minutes remaining.
A lightning fast stop later, the Doctor resumed his time-attack. He was able to put in one more hot lap, and he made it count. He had dropped down to eighth place, but made a brilliant comeback on his final try, shooting up to second with a 2'13.009s, 0.848s from first. Though he was pushed back to third position after the chequered flag went out, he still looks forward to starting tomorrow's race from the first row.
Viñales was thankfully OK after he got caught out at the end of FP4 by the sudden rain, but due to the incident he needed a couple of laps to get back into the groove in Q2. He was on a no-stop strategy, allowing him to use the available track time to the fullest. He held tenth place for the first half and consistently topped his personal best time on his final three attempts, as his feeling improved. However, he wasn't able to make progress in terms of grid position. He ended the session in eleventh place, with a 2’14.856s fastest lap, 2.695s from pole.
Pole sitter Marc Márquez was later penalised by Race Direction, following an incident in Q2 involving Andrea Iannone. He was demoted to seventh position, meaning Rossi moves up to second place on the grid.
Tomorrow’s time schedule has been amended to prevent similar delays as the MotoGP field experienced today due to weather and track conditions. MotoGP’s Warm Up will be held from 08:40 – 09:00 (local track time: GMT+8) and the race will get underway at 13:00.
Saturday, 03 November 2018 12:19 Published in Rider and Team Releases
(March 13, 2017)- Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed his royal flush of incredible preseason form by the end of the #QatarTest, taking to the top once again on the final day of testing ahead of lights out for the GP weekend.
Monday, 13 March 2017 12:35 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@YamahaMotoGP • @MotoGP • (February 3, 2016)-Despite the changeable weather, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi completed the three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit topping the standings with a perfect 1-2.
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 14:38 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@YamahaMotoGP •@MotoGP •(February 2, 2016)- Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders returned to the Sepang International Circuit today for a second day of testing in Malaysia. Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi continued to successfully work through a number of different test items and secured second and sixth place respectively in today's standings.
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:20 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@MotoGP •@YamahaMotoGP •(January 19, 2016)- The factory Yamaha team gathered in Barcelona to show off what their 2016 bikes will look like as they aim to repeat their 2015 success.
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 19:19 Published in News
With just a handful of rounds remaining in this year's MotoGP World Championship, it's almost certain that the championship will go to either Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo. The two Movistar Yamaha riders are atop the standings, both with more than a race worth of points in hand over Marc Marquez in third place. It's an enviable position for Yamaha to be in, but at the same time I'm sure it's causing plenty of angst in the team and at company headquarters.
Update after the Aragon round on September 27: It is even more certain the championship will go to Rossi or Lorenzo, as Marquez crashed at Aragon and dropped even further behind in the points but remains in third.
Obviously, sitting 1-2 in the standings with such a lead is good for Yamaha and the team because, almost no matter what happens, a Yamaha rider will win the title. All eyes are on the title chase, there's plenty of drama, and the company and team sponsors get plenty of TV time and exposure out of it. From now to the end of the season, more people will be concerned with where Rossi and Lorenzo finish in each race, rather than who wins or is on the podium.
On the downside, because it's a two-horse race now, it's a safe bet that the two riders are not working together as you would expect from teammates - no sharing of setup notes, data, thoughts on tire selection or the track surface, and so on. This makes it very difficult for Yamaha and the team to move forward with development or testing, as the workload cannot be shared between the two riders: each will be trying to find the best solutions, and keeping the results to himself. At Misano, for example, Lorenzo tested small winglets on the side of his M1 during the first day's practice, whereas Rossi tested them at a private test earlier.
In the last few rounds, it's clear that the focus in the Movistar Yamaha garage has been the riders' personal battle. At Misano, both riders were so concerned with what the other was doing in the tricky dry/wet/dry conditions that both suffered as a result, mistiming their bike changes to match the changing track. At the end of the day, Rossi finished fifth while Lorenzo crashed out. Rossi even confessed after that he was more concerned with beating Lorenzo than anything else: "It’s true that the championship is a lot more important that winning this race, it’s the main target." Yamaha cannot be happy that a potential race win for the brand was forfeit.
None of this is atypical for a race team. It's all wine and roses when there is an obvious No. 1 and No. 2 rider: plenty of information is shared between the riders, the development work carries on at a steady pace, and there is no secrecy. But when the two riders end up battling for the championship title (or position), the walls go up fast. A similar situation came to a head last year in World Superbike, with team orders being issued in both the Kawasaki and Aprilia camps and riders on both teams unhappy.
Hopefully Rossi and Lorenzo will not have any more miscues as they did in Misano, and that the title fight continues on to the finale in Valencia to close out a fantastic season. While their points lead over Marquez is comfortable, it is not unassailable by any means, and they cannot afford many more similar errors as a team.
Saturday, 26 September 2015 17:22 Published in Andrew Trevitt