Maverick Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2-3 in final day of Valencia test
Maverick Vinales took control at the head of the timesheets to lead the second and final day of the first pre-‘20 test at Valencia in another Yamaha 1-2-3.
Vinales posted the fastest lap of the test- a 1:29.849- in the final hour-or-so of running, relegating long-time leader Quartararo to second as he continued to put the new M1 through its paces.
The rookie Frenchman spent most of the day testing suspension set-up tweaks with his ’19 race M1, once again showing impressive consistent speed as he headed Petronas SRT team-mate Franco Morbidelli.
Cal Crutchlow shrugged off a late get-off at Turn 10 to post the fourth fastest time ahead of Suzuki duo Joan Mir and Alex Rins- the GSX-RR twins continuing to evaluate a ’20 development engine as well as a few minor chassis parts.
Marc Marquez managed the seventh fastest time as he continued to test several new ’20 developments for his RC213-V, including a new fairing he rolled out in the closing stages of the session.
Pol Espargaro got more solid running for the prototype ’20 KTM RC16-with the an encouraging eighth fastest time following despite a nasty crash at Turn 10-while Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller completed the top ten.
Alex Marquez continued to learn how his new Honda works as he climbed his way up the leader board, ending the day 20th on the leaderboard-2.3 seconds down on Vinales’ benchmark.
Dani Pedrosa continued to put in a good amount of work for the KTM squad, the Spaniard punching in the 14th fastest time as the second quickest test rider behind Ducati’s Michele Pirro.
Iker Lecuona was 15th overall as he continued to build on his experience with the Tech 3 teams RC16, while Andrea Dovizioso continued to gather data on the Ducati GP20 as the only race pilot still present at the test-Danilo Petrucci having pulled out due to a shoulder injury on Tuesday morning.
Brad Binder suffered his first crash on a MotoGP machine as he was the latest rider to fall victim to Turn 10 in the ever cooling conditions of late afternoon, the South African uninjured but frustrated to see his last run come to an end-closing the day 22nd overall.
The final day of the Valencia test also saw a couple of red flags to halt running temporarily, the first caused by Pol Espargaro’s high-speed Turn 10 spill, while the second was caused by Andrea Iannone’s flaming Aprilia.
The Italians RS-GP erupted into flames as he headed down towards Turn 1, Iannone quickly pulling off to allow nearby marshals to tend to the machine-curtailing any further running and only adding to the frustrations felt by him and team-mate Aleix Espargaro.
The pair will have to wait until the Sepang test in Feburary until they get their hands on the all-new RS-GP currently in development at the teams Noale factory, which is expected to feature a brand-new V4 engine as well as an updated chassis.
Rossi also suffered technical gremlins with his M1, pulling off at Turn 10 just after lunch.