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MotoGP, Phillip Island: Vinales continues to shine, trouble for Rossi

THE TIMES. Maverick closes ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa, Folger a solid 4th, Dovizioso and Lorenzo 7th and 8th, Valentino 12th

MotoGP: Phillip Island: Vinales continues to shine, trouble for Rossi

Three out of three, each time Vinales has got on the Yamaha he's closed each of the tests in first place. First at Valencia, then Sepang and now at Phillip Island, where Maverick has once again showed the championship what he's made of.

The Top Gun improved on his best time set yesterday, closing with a best of 1’28”549, a time that only Marquez could get close to, though the world champ was still 3 tenths off. The two Spaniards are not only the quickest in terms of the flying lap, but they also have the most constant pace.

Marc has proved his pace yesterday, while Maverick did so today. The Spaniard made two long runs of 20 laps - in the first, only two laps were not completed in 1’29” (one was 1’37”, so an obvious mistake), in the second he exceeded 1’30” only 3 times. A clear sign that he has acheived his goal to be competitive with regard to pace. To finish off, he completed a few more 1’28” laps at the end of the session.

Marquez remains the reference in terms of pace though, and despite yesterday's great work, he still went out to complete 14 consecutive laps today, 3 of which in 1’28” and the others in the low 1’29”s. That the Honda is going well is also proved by the fact that the 4 RC213V bikes are all inside the top nine. Pedrosa, with no more fever, is 3rd at +0484, Crutchlow 5th (with a pace only a few tenths behind Marquez) and Miller 9th.

Returning to Yamaha, the closest to Vinales is not Rossi, as we might expect, but Folger. Poncharal seems to have done well to bet on the German, who finishes 4th at +0”493 from Maverick. Jonas has also shown to solid pace, making good progress in his final exit of roughly ten laps. He had a small crash but without physical consequences.

Valentino is not there though, out of the top ten altogether. The Doctor is 12th, +0”921 from his team-mate. Today's exits were all short for Rossi today and his pace is not at the levels of his strongest competition.

The Ducatis didn't particularly shine either, with Dovizioso 7th (+0”699) and Lorenzo right behind him. Both made some attempt at a long run (14 laps for Andrea, just over 10 for Jorge) but without overwhelming pace. Things went worse for the Pramac riders, with Petrucci 14th and Redding 20th, behind the KTM of Smith and ahead of only Abraham and Lowes.

A tough day for Iannone, 13th, but he held up in terms of pace, his team-mate Alex Rins was able to complete a fast lap in the final phase to position 6th. We close with Aleix Espargarò who powered his Aprilia into tenth place.

THE TIMES

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Translated by Heather Watson

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