Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Yamaha’s Vinales Fastest Overall...Again

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Yamaha’s Vinales Fastest Overall…Again

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Results, Overall

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Yamaha's Maverick Vinales leads Honda's Marc Marquez
2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales leads Honda’s Marc Marquez

The second official test of 2017 MotoGP completed Friday at Phillip Island in Australia. The rider who was quickest overall during the post-season Valencia test and the first one of 2017 in Sepang—Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales—also claimed the quickest time overall in Australia.

Vinales, who joins nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha team for 2017, completed 101 laps Friday, claiming a best time of 1:28.549. He posted the quickest time early in the day, and was basically unthreatened throughout.

Following Vinales was the Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. Marquez, who led the opening day of Phillip Island testing, was the only other rider to post below the 1:29 mark; the defending MotoGP Champion’s best lap time was 1:28.843, 0.294 of a second behind Vinales. Pedrosa finished 0.484 of a second back.

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Honda's Dani Pedrosa
2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Honda’s Dani Pedrosa

“It was a very positive test for us. We came here to try many items and now we got things clear and we already know which set-up we can start using in Qatar,” Vinales says. “We did a lot of work and I‘m happy about that. Today we concentrated mainly on the race pace and I‘m satisfied, but we’re still able to improve. We didn’t decide on the fairing yet, it’s still totally open, you never know.”

Claiming fourth overall was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Jonas Folger, who continued to post the fastest time of all the rookies. He finished just ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins.

The top Ducati rider was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, the Italian followed by teammate Jorge Lorenzo. The three-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo finished 0.793 of a second behind Vinales as he gets used to the Ducati GP17.

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo
2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo

“Today we made an important step forward to better understanding the bike, just like we did on the final day of the test in Sepang, and my lap times improved a lot,” Lorenzo says. “It was a pity that we were not able to use the soft tire this morning, when the track conditions were ideal, because I think I could have got my time down by another three-tenths. But, as I said, for me at this moment the times are not as important as the feeling on the bike and understanding the most efficient way to ride it. For the moment we’ve still got a lot of work to do, especially to get the bike to turn in the corners. In any case, all things considered, I think that we finished this test in quite a positive way.”

Rounding out the top 10 Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro. As for Rossi, the 37-year-old Italian finished 12th overall, 0.921 of a second behind Vinales.

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: KTM's Bradley Smith
2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test: KTM’s Bradley Smith

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders made much progress on day three, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith finishing 17th and 19th, respectively. Espargaro was 1.308 seconds off the pace, and Smith 1.429.

The final test of 2017 MotoGP gets underway March 10 at Losail International Circuit in Qatar, which will also host the season opener March 26.

2017 Phillip Island MotoGP Test Results (Overall):

1. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:28.549 – Session 3

2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1:28.843 +0.294 – Session 3

3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1:29.033 +0.484 – Session 3

4. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.042 +0.493 – Session 3

5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1:29.101 +0.552 – Session 3

6. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.103 +0.554 – Session 3

7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1:29.248 +0.699 – Session 3

8. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1:29.342 +0.793 – Session 3

9. Jack MILLER Marc, VDS Racing Team – 1:29.358 +0.809 – Session 3

10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:29.361 +0.812 – Session 3

11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:29.411 +0.862 – Session 2

12. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:29.470 +0.921 – Session 3

13. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.547 +0.998 – Session 3

14. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 1:29.615 +1.066 – Session 3

15. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.670 +1.121 – Session 3

16. Hector BARBERA, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:29.791 +1.242 – Session 3

17. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:29.857 +1.308 – Session 3

18. Loris BAZ, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:29.977 +1.428 – Session 3

19. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:29.978 +1.429 – Session 3

20. Scott REDDING, Octo Pramac Racing – 1:30.005 +1.456 – Session 3

21. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:30.142 +1.593 – Session 2

22. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:30.200 +1.651 – Session 3

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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