MotoGP: Maverick Vinales' Fast Time Holds As Phillip Island Test Concludes

Marc Marquez fastest on day three of Phillip Island test, but Vinales' day-two time still tops the time sheets

2016 Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales was unable to improve on day three, but stayed on top of the time sheets at the MotoGP pre-season test at Phillip Island. Also, no seagulls were harmed in the making of this photo.Photo Courtesy of Suzuki

It was another day of mixed conditions on the final day of pre-season testing at Phillip Island, but this time it was dry in the morning, and this time Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez ruled the day. Marquez improved his time to a 1:29.158, but while it ruled the day it was still .027 of a second short of yesterday’s fast time set by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales.

“Today has been another positive day, although I couldn’t improve my lap time, but we are aware of the reason why this happened,” Vinales said. “We focused on testing different configurations of the new chassis and this took us some time. The development of the machine for the season is still a long way off and we still have much potential that we need to investigate.”

In the end, it was a good boost for the Spaniard going into his sophomore season of MotoGP.

“Of course ending a test at the top is a good feeling that makes you comfortable for the future,” Vinales said. “But we must keep our feet on the ground and stay focused on the development plan we have set.”

2016 marc marquez
Marc Marquez left Phillip Island much happier than Sepang.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

As for Marquez, he was mostly relieved with the progress made at Phillip Island.

"Overall, these three days have been very good,” Marquez said. “I’m especially happy with today, because we have taken a big step forward. In the afternoon I managed to maintain a consistently fast pace, and this was the first time this preseason that I've started to feel good with the bike and the new tires. Yesterday we focused on adjusting the electronics and finding a good base, and today I think we did a good job looking for balance in the setup of the bike."

It was also a day of crashing. Many of the riders went down, some of them twice. Both Vinales and Marquez touched the ground; both of them unhurt.

“First of all I must say I’m ok after the crash this morning,” Vinales said. “I went out with a new tire but probably the temperature was still too cold and I lost the front, but I didn’t suffer any injuries.”

“It’s a pity that at the end of the session when we wanted to try something else, it was too late,” Marquez said. “I was pushing hard at the same time, I lost the front and crashed. The important thing is that I was unhurt and the work we’ve done has been positive.”

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was another one of the fallers on day three, but was also unhurt and able to improve his time at the end of the day to best Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo also went down while attempting a race simulation.

2016 Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow was one of the many riders who suffered a crash on the final day of testing, but the Brit advanced his position to third-place overall at the end of the day.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

“I’ve been riding with old tires all day because we only had one more new tire,” Lorenzo explained. “When we finally got a dry track and time to try that last new rear tire to set a decent lap time, Laverty crashed and I had to cancel that lap. I then decided to try a race simulation, but I crashed on the first lap because the track was very cold. There were a lot of crashes during this time of the day. I was very dedicated and braked a little bit too hard for the grip of the front tire and I crashed, so I ended the test and I’m going home.”

After his stellar performance in Sepang, Phillip Island was a bit lackluster for the reigning champ.

“Sepang, for us, has been an unbelievable test,” Lorenzo said. “Here things changed completely because the lay-out of the track is the opposite. Let’s see what happens in Qatar.”

Also improving on day three was Avintia Ducati’s Hector Barbera who dropped Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi back to sixth. Loris Baz, on the other Avintia Ducati improved to seventh.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa improved his time on the final day as well, but remained eighth overall. It was a competitive test with many dropping into the 1:29’s and most of the field (16 riders) within a second of Vinales’ top time.

Rounding out the top 10 was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro and Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.

Jorge Lorenzo 2016
Jorge Lorenzo left Phiilip Island less happy than Sepang, even though he was just .226 of a second off the pace in fourth.Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

2016 MotoGP Phillip Island Combined Results:

  1. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:29.131

  2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:29.158

  3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 1:29.348

  4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha 1:29.357

  5. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Ducati 1.29.361

  6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha 1:29.404

  7. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Ducati 1.29.583

  8. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1.29.606

  9. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1.29.718

  10. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1.29.857

  11. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati 1.29.860

  12. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1.29.922

  13. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1.29.992

  14. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 1.29.995

  15. Jack Miller (AUS) Marc VDS Honda 1.30.023

  16. Tito Rabat (SPA) EG 0.0 Marc VDS 1.30.119

  17. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1.30.198

  18. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar Honda 1.30.492

  19. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Ducati 1.30.617

  20. Takuya Tsuda (JPN) Suzuki Test Team 1:32.599