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Vinales Leads the Second Test Day at Phillip Island

The second day of testing at Phillip Island saw a surprisingly fast Maverick Vinales ending the session on top of the time sheets. During the morning, the Australian track was still damp, and not exactly inviting, with only the Ducati factory riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Suzuki's test rider Takuya Tsuda venturing out.
Maverick Vinales 20 photos
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As the track continued to dry, the rest of the grid put slick tires on their machines and hit the road. Michelin came up with a new compound for the left side of the rear tires, specifically developed to withstand the massive heat build-up on the Australian circuit.

Rain, however, did arrive once more, but it was only a small shower, and it only interrupted the proceedings for a short time. This way, many riders were able to put in an impressive number of laps, making up for yesterday’s inclement weather.

Dovizioso ran an 88-lap session, with Tito Rabat putting in 81 laps, Lorenzo 80, and Marquez 79. Yamaha's factory riders and Marquez soon climbed up in the time charts, with the lap times of no less than ten pilots dropping under 1:30'.

Even though Honda and Yamaha improved their pace on a dry track, Vinales was impossible to catch. His penultimate lap yielded a 1:29.131 time, while Repsol Honda's MM93 managed to get as close as 0.161s behind him, also on the penultimate lap.

Lorenzo was also pretty fast, 0.065s behind Marquez, and 0.047 ahead of teammate Rossi. The top five of the day was rounded up with Cal Crutchlow, a quarter of a second adrift Rossi and half a second behind Vinales.

Barbera was sixth astride his customer Ducati, with Iannone three thousandths of a second behind the Avintia rider, and 60 milliseconds faster than Pedrosa. The Spaniard was also involved in a small crash, but was unhurt. Redding and Smith completed the top ten.Baz climbed to the 11th position, but did not want to take any chances
Loris Baz had a productive second day at Phillip Island, too, and finished the session in the 11th place. After walking away from a 290 km/h crash at Sepang, Baz took things easily and preferred not to risk anything.

Even so, he was faster than Andrea Dovizioso and both Espargaro brothers, showing that Ducati has been doing their homework meticulously over the winter. Yesterday's leader, Danilo Petrucci, was only 14th today, but with how competitive Ducati has become lately, it's only natural to expect him to have an ace up his sleeve.

Tomorrow is the final day of the second pre-season IRTA test at Phillip Island, and if the weather skips the rain parts, we're clearly in for some serious racing and better lap times. We're still far from MM93's 2013 1'28.108 circuit record or Lorenzo's 1'27.899 pole in the same year, but things are getting hotter.

 
 
 
 
 

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