Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) appear on track to achieving a breakthrough race win in MotoGP this season after closing out pre-season testing on a positive note.
SRT’s Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo ended the final day of testing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar in second and fourth on 1:53.891s and 1:54.077s respectively.
Overall, Morbidelli and Quartararo finished the three-day test in second (+0.033s) and third (+0.180s) behind factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales, who topped the combined timesheets on 1:53.858s.
SRT team manager Wilco Zeelenberg is pleased with their progress but made it clear that it is still early days.
“The winter test is now finished, and I can say that we did what we needed to do.
“Both guys were in the top three in this test overall,” said Zeelenberg.
“Of course, we know it’s (just) a test, but it’s important to have the speed and to do all the things that we did.
“It was also very important to have the right feeling for the race simulation.
“Yamaha promised us two good spec bikes and clearly they have given us this.
“We are now looking forward to the race next week.”
SRT are running two A-spec Yamaha YZR-M1s this season, which should give them improved race pace and place them in a position to capitalise on the strong qualifying pace they showed last year.
The new season will kick off with a night race at the Losail International Circuit on March 6-8.