MotoGP: Vinales remains on top as Valencia test concludes
Maverick Vinales continued to assert his dominance on the second day of testing at Valencia by storming to the top of the timesheets once again as he made his debut with the Yamaha MotoGP team.
The times on day two had mostly been led by an impressively quick time of 1’30.6 from World Champion Marc Marquez on just his fifth lap of the day. Nobody came close to the Spaniard’s lap until well after lunch, with Andrea Dovizioso first taking the top spot before Vinales posted a time of 1’29.975, just 0.5 from Jorge Lorenzo’s pole position record, towards the end of the day.
The session faced a 90-minute delay after two large crashes this morning for Suzuki’s new riders Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone. Both crashed their GSX-RR machines on the brakes in to turn 12, hitting the tyre barrier with quite some force.
As the session was red flagged, numerous riders gathered in pit lane to complain about the lack of air fencing on that section of track, with some riders suggesting they may refuse to participate in the rest of the test unless safety conditions were improved at that corner.
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The session would eventually resume after a number of foam barriers were installed at turn ten. While Iannone would return to the track, Alex Rins was taken to hospital where it was later revealed he had two compressed vertebrae.
Marquez further improved his morning time to place second on the overall timesheets, ahead of the quickest Ducati of Dovizioso.
Iannone placed fourth to conclude his debut with Suzuki despite two crashes over the two day test, with Dani Pedrosa rounding out the top five with a time set on his 2017-spec Honda. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was sixth ahead of Valentino Rossi, who remains unhappy with Yamaha’s 2017 engine.
Jorge Lorenzo rounded out the test eighth quickest on his Ducati debut, ahead of an impressive ninth for Aleix Espargaro as he switches from Suzuki to Aprilia.
Jonas Folger led the battle of the rookies in tenth, ahead of new team-mate Johann Zarco who set the 11th quickest time in a successful first test for the Tech 3 duo.
KTM’s all-new line-up of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith rounded out the test 17th and 20th fastest respectively, while British rookie Sam Lowes sat out the second day of testing for Aprilia after his crash on Tuesday.