Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales left it late but managed to topple Suzuki’s Alex Rins to head Day 2 of the Sepang MotoGP test.
In last-gasp effort, Vinales produced a superb 1m58.897s lap to top the second day of MotoGP test at Sepang International Circuit with the Yamaha rider being the first rider to dip under the 1m58s bracket in the two days of running.
It was his countryman Rins (1m59.424s) abode the Suzuki who had initially taken the top spot from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso (1m59.562s) but Vinales went even better on his 62nd lap from the 63 he did to end the second day with a comfortable 0.527s buffer.
Long-time pace-setter Dovizioso dropped to fourth after an improvement from Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller (1m59.517s), who ended up third in the end. Rins completed 61 laps to Miller’s 49 and Dovizioso’s 60 in the Top 4.
In only his second day on the bike since October, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (1m59.566s) did well to be fifth with 53 laps ahead of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi (1m59.625s), who completed a total of 51 laps and focused on long runs rather than lap times.
A late surge from Avintita Ducati’s Tito Rabat (1m59.664s) pushed Honda’s Marc Marquez (1m59.790s) to eighth as the reigning champion once again rode only in the first half with 37 laps to his name with Rabat completing 75 laps.
The Top 10 was completed by Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci (1m59.845s) and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (1m59.966s), the duo undertaking 65 and 60 laps respectively as KTM’s Johann Zarco (1m59.973s) had a improved running with 58 laps to be 11th.
Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagania (1m59.995s) was the lead rookie in 12th despite a crash with 52 laps ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro (2m00.101s) and the Petronas Yamaha SRT pair of Fabio Quartararo (2m00.108s) & Franco Morbidelli (2m00.151s).
Espargaro completed 54 laps with the other two undertaking 58 laps each. Jorge Lorenzo stand-in Stefan Bradl (2m00.230s) on the Honda was 16th with 59 laps from KTM’s Pol Espargaro (2m00.305s), who did 67 laps despite his second fall of the test.
Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone (2m00.510s) got further into grips with the bike to be 18th with KTM tester Mika Kallio (2m00.523s) in 19th from Tech 3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira (2m00.672s) and Suzuki’s Joan Mir (2m00.876s). They did 39, 41, 61 and 64 laps respectively.
Avintia Ducati’s Karel Abraham (2m01.245s) finished 22nd from Yamaha’s #31 test bike with Suzuki’s tester Sylvain Guintoli (2m01.654s) in 24th ahead of Tech 3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin (2m01.859s) and Yamaha’s #32 test bike.
The Czech rider did 56 laps with Guintoli doing 45 and Syahrin 53. The 27-rider standings was completed by Suzuki tester Takuya Tsuda (2m03.276s) with 22 laps as Aprilia’s Bradley Smith did not run again.
[Check: Day 1 report]