MotoGP: Viñales demolishes field on day two at Phillip Island

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Movistar Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales has demolished his 2017 MotoGP opposition on the second day of action at the Phillip Island pre-season test, setting a fast time early on and backing it up in the closing stages of the day to finish half a second ahead of Marc Marquez in second place.

Viñales, who admitted afterwards that he didn’t sleep well last night after a difficult opening day at the home of the Australian Grand Prix, was quick to downplay his fast laps afterwards, instead pleased with a breakthrough in race pace that they also found.


“Today we focused a lot on the race pace and honestly, we did a great job, we made a big step compared to yesterday. I‘m feeling more comfortable on the track and I‘m getting more grip from the tyres. I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do. We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us.

“For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldn‘t beat the lap time I set this morning, but I‘m happy anyway. I‘ve been fast with both chassis and all the time I‘m riding 1‘29-low and 1‘29-medium. Like I said, we‘ve made a big step today and we‘ll try to make another step tomorrow.”

Cal Crutchlow was an impressive third, only 0.016 behind fellow Honda rider Marquez in second, while Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaró rounded out the top ten.

Birthday boy Valentino Rossi, who turns 38 today, was eighth behind fellow Yamaha rider and impressive rookie Jonas Folger. Jorge Lorenzo was a distant 15th as he continues to learn the intricacies of the Ducati machine, one spot ahead of Dani Pedrosa, who missed much of the morning session thanks to a throat infection.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer