Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales did not miss the opportunity to spend a day in Portimao with the other MotoGP riders. They did it on the strictly standard Yamaha R1. A very different bike than the M1, but one that's useful in getting to know a very technical and unique track.
“Riding here is very interesting, because it’s a great track and technically quite difficult,” Valentino said. “It’s a very strange circuit because of the many slope changes, but it’s nice and the track has good grip.You can have a lot of fun when riding here. It looked more difficult on television. A bit more difficult but, all in all, it’s okay. There are three or four spots that are a little scary, because you jump bad. It’ll be difficult to keep a MotoGP bike in contact with the ground but, generally speaking, it’s a very gentle track, so I like it. It was also a good day for a test, because the conditions were good, which is important when you get to know a new track.”
Vinales was also favorably surprised by the Portuguese track.
“The track is different from what we’re used to, due to the slope changes, and most of the corners have blind entrances,” the Spanish rider explained. “But, overall, I felt really good. It’s the kind of track I like, because it has a lot of fluidity and speed in corners. I’ve already gotten good sensations on the road bike, and I think it’ll be even better when I race with the MotoGP. I’ll be even faster. The track is great, and it’s a lot of fun to ride. The biggest challenge here are the rear ups. We’ll have to work a lot on that, because there are a lot of slope changes, and we need some contact with the front, so we’ll have to change the bike a bit, for sure. The last corner is great, I love it. I expected the track to be longer. It’s actually quite short, but I like it.”
Along with the two official riders, there was also Jorge Lorenzo, who resumed his work as a test rider on the M1. The rider from Mallorca will also be on the track tomorrow.
“Riding a MotoGP again after a nine-month break is definitely not easy,” he commented. “Tomorrow we’ll play around a bit more with the set up to see if we can improve and take a big step forward.The track is wonderful. It’s unique, compared to other tracks. It has many changes in slope, and that’s a lot of fun. I hope that I’ll have good sensations tomorrow and that we can work more.”