The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team successfully wrapped up the third day of testing at the Losail International Circuit, bringing to a close the 2019 MotoGP preseason tests with strong lap times.
Maverick Viñales jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a blazing 1’54.208s on his 25th lap, setting Monday’s top mark and putting his name in first on the combined timesheets with a 0.233s margin to the second-fastest rider.
“Honestly, I have been riding really good on the track, I felt like I was going very fast with the amount of grip that the track provided today,” Viñales said. “But we need to improve. I don’t have really good grip on the edge, so we need to keep working, especially in that area. On the acceleration side we improved quite a lot since Sepang, and at the moment I’m quite satisfied with what we have in the braking area. My race pace is not bad, I tried ten laps just to understand how the bike is doing, but it was very cold for the medium tires.
“Anyway, I rode quite well, with quite a good rhythm. Maybe I could have pushed a little more. However, we still need to improve for the race. I think we are going to be ready. The race will be very important for us. Our bike has really positive points, but also a few negatives, so we now need to come to a conclusion and see where we can improve.”
Valentino Rossi’s best lap was 1’54.651s, 0.443s behind his teammate and good for fourth on the day and fifth overall.
“Today was a good day, we worked in a good way and I was quite strong,” Rossi said. “Also, with the race tires my pace is quite good, and in the time-attack I was also OK. I’m in P5 at the end of the three days, which is not so bad. For me, also the race pace is quite good, although I think we will need something more to be able to try to fight. But today we already closed the gap by a lot, as we put it all together, with all the staff. I think that, for this night, we’re done, and we’ll see in two weeks if it’s enough.”
The first round of the 2019 MotoGP season takes place from March 8-10 in Qatar.