Movistar Yamaha Competitive at Chang Circuit in Friday FP Sessions2018-10-05 08:31
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi kicked off the first Asian flyaway race weekend today, at the Chang International Circuit. They made the most of the morning 45-minute practice session with a perfect 1-2 and followed it up with a positive FP2 in the afternoon, ending the first day in second and ninth position respectively in the combined free practice times.
After the warm welcome Viñales received upon his arrival in Thailand, he was filled with motivation to start the weekend off right. He soon climbed up to provisional sixth place, clocking multiple 1‘32s laps, and kept hold of it for most of the session. Having gotten a first feel for the Chang track, he took some time to tweak his bike's set-up before heading out for one last try in the final minutes, and it paid off. He clocked a 1‘31.220s, putting his YZR-M1 in first place, 0.270s ahead of the field.
The Spaniard duplicated his strong performance in FP2. He gradually got on the pace again, improving his feeling with the bike. However, just when the usual ’mini time attacks‘ were about to start, a crash halted the session. After the red flag interval, the youngster used the last 12 minutes of track time to push out some hot laps. He was in eighth position but put his head down once more and briefly took over at the top again. The 1‘31.121s lap ultimately earned him second place, 0.031s from the top in the overall times.
Rossi needed a little time to warm to the Buriram track but was eager to get to work. He hopped to it, trying to find a good basis set-up for his bike and found one in the second half of FP1. With slightly more than a third of the session to go he dropped under the 1‘33s-mark, and the personal best laps kept on coming, especially at the very end of the session. The Doctor stormed up the ranking order, ultimately securing second place, 0.270s behind his teammate, having set a 1‘31.490s best lap.
The nine-time World Champion also had a positive session in the afternoon, as he tried a new fairing for the first time. After the red flag, when the Italian was fully acquainted with the new item, he didn‘t wait another minute to put on some a soft rear tyre in order to get a hot lap in. He briefly moved up to second place with a 1‘31.528s, but the session became more and more heated. He further improved his time to a 1‘31.398s but was unable to hold his position. He completed the first day in ninth place, 0.308s from first.
The extended imagery of today's Free Practice sessions is available on
Today we‘ve made progress. We had to make a good start, because we knew that we had some ground to make up, which is what we managed to do. We took some counter-measures after Aragon that apparently work. We found a basis setting in FP1 that makes both our riders more comfortable, and we ended the session with a 1-2 result, which gave the team good confidence. In the afternoon we were able to try a new fairing and some tyre options, which is important as the specs are different from what we had during the pre-season test here. All in all, we had quite a positive first outing, but it‘s still early days. We will work hard to try to continue the momentum we gained today in tomorrow‘s sessions.
Being first and second in today‘s sessions, shouldn‘t mean these are my expectations for the race, it‘s only Friday. However, it‘s true that the feeling is much more positive than it was in Aragon, I feel better with the bike. We modified the settings in the way I needed it, and it seems to work – at least for me – especially on the hard tyre. It‘s completely different from what we had during the pre-season Thai Test and previous races. We went in another direction and did a quite solid FP1 and FP2. Let‘s see what more we can do tomorrow.
For me it's a bit better than what I expected on paper, because me and Maverick were quite strong during the day. In the morning we had a fantastic first and second, but that was also because a lot of riders didn't use a new tyre at the end of the session. But in the afternoon Maverick again did a very good lap time and I'm still in the top-10 even though I didn't do a fantastic lap, I made some mistakes. We have to work on some points, especially to understand which rear tyre we should use for the race, but it looks like we can be a bit more competitive.
LINKS & DOWNLOAD
Thai GP - FP1 Results
Thai GP - FP2 Results
Thai GP - Combined Free Practice Results (FP1 + FP2)
1. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM 1'31.090
2. M. VIÑALES MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1'31.121
3. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA CASTROL 1'31.164
4. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1'31.188
5. D. PETRUCCI ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1'31.238
6. A. IANNONE TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 1'31.256
7. A. BAUTISTA ANGEL NIETO TEAM 1'31.378
8. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1'31.385
9. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1'31.398
10. J. ZARCO MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 1'31.421
11. J. MILLER ALMA PRAMAC RACING 1'31.486
Source: Yamaha Motor Racing
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