Viñales storms ahead on second day

Viñales storms ahead on second day

16 February 2017 – Maverick Viñales comfortably topped Thursday's MotoGP test session at Phillip Island, finishing almost half a second clear of the field.

Yamaha's Viñales, having put together a sequence of 1m29s, produced an early benchmark of 1:28.847 – by far the quickest time of the week.

Honda rival Marc Márquez, who topped Wednesday's running, improved his own time by a couple of tenths, but ended 0.462s down on Viñales.

Viñales had already set the pace during the first test at Sepang.

LCR's Cal Crutchlow followed in third, just 0.016s adrift of Márquez, while Álvaro Bautista – 12th on the first day – put Aspar back in the top five.

Andrea Dovizioso led at the start of the day but ultimately placed fifth on his Ducati, with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaró, who trialled the team's new fairing, completing the top six.

Jonas Folger was again the quickest rookie rider, rising from 10th to seventh, putting his Tech 3 Yamaha just in front of the factory machine of Valentino Rossi, who turned 38 today.

Álex Rins put Suzuki inside the top 10 positions, which were rounded out by Marc VDS' Jack Miller, who continues to ride alone in the absence of injured team-mate Tito Rabat.

Andrea Iannone fell to 12th on the other Suzuki, while Jorge Lorenzo, who had declared a much better start at Phillip Island, was only 15th, almost one-and-a-half seconds off the pace.

Dani Pedrosa missed most of the session through illness, but eventually hit the track when he felt better, racking up 40 laps with his works Honda en route to 16th position.

KTM's charge was again led by Pol Espargaró, this time 1.8 seconds away from the front, with team-mate Bradley Smith remaining at the back, almost three seconds adrift.

In a repeat of Wednesday's animal-related stoppage, there was a red flag on Thursday afternoon due to geese on the circuit, forcing riders back to the pit lane for a short period.

MotoGP testing continues at Phillip Island on Friday

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