Maverick Viñales finishes Sepang test on top for Yamaha
Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales clocked the quickest time of the opening three-day test during the final day of running at Sepang.
Viñales posted a lap of 1:59.368 early in the afternoon to finish 0.138s clear of reigning world champion Marc Márquez, who made gains after electrical problems affected Repsol Honda earlier in the test.
Andrea Dovizioso was the lead Ducati rider in third position, ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi.
Álvaro Bautista concluded a promising test for Aspar with the sixth best time, in front of Monday pacesetter Casey Stoner, who returned to action after fellow Ducati test rider Michele Pirro sampled the Desmosedici on Tuesday.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow took eighth position, leaving Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and Tech 3 graduate Johann Zarco to complete the top 10.
Following Suzuki’s headline-grabbing performance on Tuesday, Andrea Iannone finished a low-key 11th on the final day, 0.012s clear of rookie team-mate Álex Rins.
Aleix Espargaró demonstrated Aprilia’s progress with 13th, ahead of Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci and Tech 3’s Jonas Folger, the German youngster ensuring the top 15 riders finished within a second of Viñales’ leading time.
Jack Miller was the sole Marc VDS representative in 16th, following Tito Rabat’s heavy crash on Tuesday, which forced him to miss the final test day, with returnee Karel Abraham 17th.
Scott Redding split Avintia duo Héctor Barberá and Loris Baz, while Bradley Smith was the lead KTM rider in 21st, his best effort 1.97s down on leader Viñales.
Sam Lowes took 22nd for the Gresini-run Aprilia squad, leaving KTM’s Pol Espargaró, and test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga (Yamaha) and Takuya Tsuda (Suzuki) to complete the pack.
MotoGP testing will resume at Phillip Island, home of the Australian Grand Prix, on February 15.