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Vinales Sets The Pace| Day Three MotoGP Test, Phillip Island | Events

Suzuki young gun Maverick Vinales has set himself as the man to beat heading into the third day of the MotoGP pre-season test at Phillip Island.

Vinales showed just why he rates the Island as his favourite circuit by leading the time sheets at the end of day two ahead of Marc Marquez (Honda) and Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Just 0.273s covered the top four with Aussie ace Jack Miller, returning after breaking his right leg a month ago, 17th fastest as he eased back into riding on the Honda RC213V.

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Jack Miller on his RC213V back from a broken leg

Vinales’s best lap of 1’29.131s was 0.5s faster than he was in finishing sixth in last October’s Australian Grand Prix.

Vinales made the most of electronic set-up advances with traction control and engine braking on the latest 2016 evolution of the Suzuki GSX-RR.

“I was feeling good all day and switched to the new chassis in the afternoon and decided to put in a new tyre and try for one lap,” Vinales said.

“We did a good job. We were working a lot on the electronics. From Malaysia we made a big step in the electronics; in the engine brake, in the traction control.

“There are positive things but we need to work more. For me the new chassis is better.

“It’s better in the fast corners and without gas it turns much more. Also in the slow corners the new chassis feels better.

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Both Rossi and Lorenzo continued to use the late 2015 M1 although they plan back-to-back runs today to evaluate the 2016 bike which features an under-seat fuel tank and modified weight distribution.

Australia’s two-time world champion Casey Stoner is at Phillip Island for the test for technical meetings with Ducati but is not riding. Stoner’s test program will continue in Qatar at the final test in advance of the opening race of the season.