Viñales fastest for Yamaha in Valencia test

Viñales fastest for Yamaha in Valencia test

15 November 2016 – Maverick Viñales clocked the quickest time on his maiden outing for Yamaha as the MotoGP field gathered for the first test of the off-season at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Viñales, riding an unbranded 2016 M1 following his switch from Suzuki, moved to the front of the field with a 1:30.930, with 90 minutes remaining of the seven-hour session.

Viñales' time was 0.020s faster than Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi, who trialled the 2017 M1, but whose best lap came on the 2016 bike, before crashing at Turn 10.

Jorge Lorenzo was the first rider to take to the track in the morning as he made his debut for Ducati, getting an initial feel for the Desmosedici after nine years with Yamaha.

Lorenzo spent the majority of the day on the GP.16 machine, going third overall, before he completed an exploratory lap on the GP.17 in the final five minutes of the session.

World Champion Marc Márquez was fourth, switching between his 2016 and 2017 bikes, in front of Andrea Dovizioso, who also rode two specifications of Ducati, and LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.

Andrea Iannone made his first appearance for Suzuki and took seventh, despite a high-speed crash at Turn 10, ahead of Scott Redding, Héctor Barberá and Dani Pedrosa, the top 10 covered by just 0.376s.

Jack Miller ended 11th for Marc VDS, in front of Álvaro Bautista, who returned to Aspar, the team with which he raced in the 250cc class at the end of the previous decade.

Michele Pirro was 13th for Pramac Ducati as he replaced Danilo Petrucci, who was absent for family reasons, followed by Aprilia newcomer Aleix Espargaró and Avintia's Loris Baz.

Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco both carried out running with Tech 3 Yamaha following the French outfit's complete overhaul of its rider line-up.

Folger wound up 16th, with double Moto2 champion Zarco just 0.012s in arrears, as they began preparations for their debuts in the premier class.

Tito Rabat was 18th while Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith ran KTM's bike for the first time after moving across from Tech 3 – Espargaró fell at Turn 10 but was able to continue his run plan.

Álex Rins stepped up from Moto2 and finished 21st on his first day with Suzuki, ahead of new Aprilia test rider Eugene Laverty, whose running came to an end with a Turn 10 crash late on.

MotoGP returnee Karel Abraham was 23rd for Aspar, while Aprilia's Sam Lowes and Suzuki test rider Takuya Tsuda both crashed en route to 24th and 25th places respectively.

Francesco Bagnaia completed nine laps during the early stages of running for Aspar as a reward for winning two Moto3 races this year and brought up the rear of the 26-rider field.

MotoGP testing will continue in Valencia on Wednesday

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