2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Vinales Fastest Overall

2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Vinales Fastest Overall
Yamaha's Maverick Vinales tops 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test

2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Results

2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Results: Yamaha’s Vinales Fastest Overall
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales tops 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test

The third and final day of 2017 MotoGP testing at Sepang International Circuit concluded Wednesday with a third-different manufacturer topping the time sheets.

It was Yamaha’s turn after Movistar Yamaha MotoGP newcomer Maverick Vinales posted the best time of 1:59.368, which was the quickest overall. The 22-year-old Spaniard claimed the time on lap 40 of 72 during Wednesday’s session, which, unlike Tuesday’s, was only affected by a passing Malaysian rain shower.

Vinales’ Yamaha YZR-M1 was the third prototype to lead during the three-day test; a Ducati GP17 claimed day one with test rider Casey Stoner at the controls, and a Suzuki GSX-RR claimed day two with Andrea Iannone, the latter suffering a heavy crash Wednesday (no injury).

Finishing fastest behind Vinales on Wednesday were the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez (1:59.506) and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (1:59.553). Overall, Vinales was quickest, followed by Iannone and Marquez.

Honda's Marc Marquez, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test
Honda’s Marc Marquez, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test

“Today again, like yesterday, we worked mainly on the race pace. We improved the pace a lot. I am quite surprised I could attain a 1’59 and I am really happy, because it was very fast and the bike was going well,” Vinales says.

“We tried many things during this week, so I think we can have a better package for the next test in Australia. We will bring many good things to Phillip Island. At the moment it is difficult to say which aspect of the bike surprised me most. We are developing the bike, trying to better the package that we have, and I think for sure we have the best bike at the moment for one lap and on race distance. Step by step we are choosing the best things.”

Dovizioso, who won the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, finished third on the day, and fourth overall. The Italian was followed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and nine-time World Champion Valentio Rossi.

Rossi debuted the new Yamaha YZR-M1 with internal winglets in its fairings on Tuesday, and continued riding the same bike Wednesday. He completed 62 laps, and finished with a best lap of 1:59.589, 0.221 of a second off Vinales’ pace.

“I’m quite happy, it was a good test, because my lap times were OK and 1’59.589 is not so bad and we are all very close at the top,” Rossi says. “In general, the feeling with the bike is positive and today we also found something interesting to further improve the bike. At the end it was a challenging test but we found something positive.”

Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test

Overall, Rossi was followed by Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista (1:59.628) in seventh and Stoner (1:59.639). Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (1:59.728) and Ducati Team newcomer Jorge Lorenzo (1:59.767).

Lorenzo continued to shave time off his laps as he adapts to the Ducati Desmosedici GP17. The three-time MotoGP Champion, who completed 66 laps Wednesday, was 0.399 of a second off Vinales’ top time when the three-day 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test finished.

“I’m happy because we managed to make a lot of progress and day after day I am getting to know the bike even better,” Lorenzo says. “Today I was able to take seven-tenths of a second off the time I set yesterday and on every exit I’m getting closer and closer to my potential, even though I’m still missing something. The whole team is really motivated, and we are working well together. In the last three days we accumulated a lot of useful information to further improve the Desmosedici and we are becoming more and more competitive.”

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test

The quickest rookie was Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco, who finished 2017 Sepang MotoGP Test 11th overall, 0.404 of a second off the pace. Overall, the Frenchman was followed by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro.

As for the new Red Bull KTM Factory racing team, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finished 21st and 22nd overall, respectively. The team tested something new on every exit of the pits as they continuing tweaking the RC16.

Pre-season MotoGP testing continues at Phillip Island in Australian February 15-17 as riders prep for the 2017 MotoGP season opener at Qatar March 26.

2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Overall Results

1. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:59.368 – Session 3
2. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:59.452 +0.084 – Session 2
3. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1:59.506 +0.138 – Session 3
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1:59.553 +0.185 – Session 3
5. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1:59.578 +0.210 – Session 3
6. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:59.589 +0.221 – Session 3
7. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:59.628 +0.260 – Session 3
8. Casey STONER, Ducati Test Team – 1:59.639 +0.271 – Session 3
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1:59.728 +0.360 – Session 3
10. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1:59.767 +0.399vSession 3
11. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:59.772 +0.404 – Session 3
12. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2:00.057 +0.689 – Session 3
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:00.108 +0.740 – Session 3
14. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 2:00.310 +0.942 – Session 3
15. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:00.312 +0.944 – Session 3
16. Hector BARBERA, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 2:00.352 +0.984 – Session 2
17. Jack MILLER, Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:00.439 +1.071 – Session 3
18. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2:00.445 +1.077 – Session 3
19. Scott REDDING, Octo Pramac Racing – 2:00.645 +1.277 – Session 3
20. Loris BAZ, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 2:00.873 +1.505 – Session 3
21. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:01.338 +1.970 – Session 1
22. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:01.338 +1.970 – Session 3
23. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:01.341 +1.973 – Session 3
24. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Test Team – 2:01.382 +2.014 – Session 2
25. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Yamaha Factory Test Team – 2:01.658 +2.290 – Session 3
26. Takuya TSUDA, Suzuki Test Team – 2:01.812 +2.444 – Session 1
27. Kouta NOZANE, Yamaha Factory Test Team – 2:02.187 +2.819 – Session 1
28. Tito RABAT, Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:02.189 +2.821 – Session 2