SEPANG, Malaysia – Maverick Viñales crushed the competition during the second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang Int’l Circuit, getting within a whisker of Jorge Lorenzo’s unofficial lap record at the facility.
Viñales posted a best time of 1:58.897 for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, just .067 of a second off of Lorenzo’s all-time best testing clip of 1:58.830 around the 3.445-mile, 15-turn circuit. The Spaniard ran a total of 63 laps during the day.
“Honestly, we tried to work really hard today on the race pace. We were always using the spec for the race,” noted Viñales. “I felt good and around midday we made good lap times especially during the race simulation when it was hot, without grip, so I’m actually really happy how we worked today. We made a good improvement on the bike, so we need to try to do this again tomorrow.”
Viñales ended the day more than half a second clear of Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins in second, with leading independent Jack Miller completing the top three for Alma Pramac Racing.
Andrea Dovizioso on a factory Ducati and Cal Crutchlow’s independent LCR Honda Castrol were fourth and fifth, respectively, ahead of Viñales’ Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi in sixth.
Marc Marquez’s Repsol Honda was eighth to end the day, just clear of Danilo Petrucci on the second factory Ducati entry.
“Today, we worked much the same as yesterday and tried a few new things, the most important ones for Honda. I started the day well but then the shoulder started to get a bit worse … so we stopped to be able to run well again tomorrow,” said Marquez, who is still battling lingering issues from an offseason shoulder surgery.
“I can’t ride exactly how I’d want; normally I’m a rider who brakes very late and deep, but I can’t do that at the moment and have to brake earlier and smoother,” Marquez continued. “In regards to the bike, we’ve been working mostly on corner exit, but sometimes at this circuit the grip can change a lot.”
Johann Zarco led the way for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in 11th overall.