Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were like kids in a candy store today at the Portimão MotoGP Official Test. The pair had a blast riding YZF-R1 bikes to get familiar with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP test rider Jorge Lorenzo also attended today’s sessions, riding the YZR-M1. His mission is to collect valuable MotoGP data ahead of the Grande Prémio de Portugal, held from 20 – 22 November.
Today’s Portimão MotoGP Official Test was a special outing for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi. Both riding Yamaha YZF-R1s, the team-mates used two sessions from 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 to get familiar with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Their main goal today was to get acquainted with the unique lay-out of the Portuguese track, ahead of the Grande Prémio de Portugal, the final round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, held from 20-22 November. The circuit has 15 corners overall (nine right, six left) and is characterised by many elevation changes and is therefore often referred to as a ‘high-speed roller coaster’, which is both thrilling for the riders and a technical challenge for the mechanics.
“The track is different from what we are used to, because of the changes in elevation, and most of the corners have blind entries.” Maverick Vinales said.
“But overall I felt really good. It’s the kind of track that I like, because you need a lot of flow and corner speed. I already had a good feeling with my standard street bike and I think it will be even better when I’ll ride with the MotoGP bike, I’ll be even faster.”
“The track looks amazing and it’s a lot of fun to ride. The biggest challenge here are wheelies.”
“We will have to work hard on this because there’s a lot of changes in elevation and we need front contact, so we will have to change the bike a bit, for sure. The last corner here is amazing, I love it. I expected the track to be longer, it’s actually quite short, but I like it.” he added.
“Riding here is very interesting, because the track is beautiful and technically quite difficult. It’s a very strange track because of the many elevation changes.” 9-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi said.
“But it’s beautiful and the asphalt is good, it has good grip. You can enjoy it a lot when you’re riding here. It looked more difficult on television, a bit more tricky, but in real life it’s good.”
“There are three or four points that are a bit scary, because you have big jumps. It will be difficult to keep a MotoGP bike in contact with the ground there, but in general it’s a very sweet track to ride, so I like it.” the 41-year-old added, “It was also a good day for a test here, because we had good conditions, which is important when you’re getting familiar with a new track.”
Today the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP duo were joined on track by Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who was riding the YZR-M1. His mission is to collect MotoGP data for the Factory Team, so they can hit the ground running when they start the final MotoGP round on 20 November 2020.
“Of course it’s not easy to start riding a MotoGP bike again after a nine-month break. Tomorrow we are going to play with the settings some more to see if we can improve and make a big step. The track is wonderful. It’s unique, compared to other tracks it has a lot of elevation changes, and that’s a lot of fun to ride. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a good feeling, and we can get more work done.” Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo will continue his testing programme tomorrow on the second day of the Portimão MotoGP Official Test, whilst Viñales and Rossi will now travel to Le Mans for the Grand Prix de France, held this weekend.