He is the undisputed protagonist of the day. Maverick Viñales took the rematch on the second day of tests at Phillip Island, riding his Yamaha ahead of the rest. He is the only one who dropped below the 1’29 mark, demonstrating something more than his rivals. However, he is not content, because he is still lacking something.
“Yesterday, when I went to bed without having changed the tyre, I was not very much at peace (he joked). Tonight, on the other hand, I’ll be able to sleep well. Luckily, I was able to do what I wanted to this morning: drop below 1’29. I know that I need to improve, but at the same time I am aware that I have to potential to do so.”
He also tried the old bike today.
“Every track has its peculiarities. On some tracks, like Sepang, maybe the Yamaha with the double fairing performs better, whereas here the old one could be better. We need to work on the details because they are what make the difference.”
You proved to be competitive again today. Do you feel like you are one of the protagonists?
“At the moment I think so. When you have a bike and a team like Yamaha, I think everyone can be. Valentino also proved to be competitive today, putting some important times on the sheets.”
Do you feel a bit of pressure from Yamaha?
“No, it is just one more motivator to try to give something extra, succeeding in achieving the set goals.”
At one point today, you slipstreamed behind Rossi.
“I thought he looked very competitive in the fourth sector, so I tried to follow him to learn some lines from him.”
What about the Yamaha do you give passing marks?
“The bike has great acceleration and grip. I think these are the encouraging aspects. We will need to work on the frame as well, despite the fact that I have positive indications. At the moment, everything is moving in the right direction.”
You forced Marquez to do more than a hundred laps.
“Marc is consistent in every section of the track like no one else is. That is the direction I need to go, since that is his strong point. Crutchlow is also fast. I am convinced that he will be a tough rival.”