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Viñales: “I felt the bike sliding a lot”

Viñales: “I felt the bike sliding a lot”

A lack of traction hinders Maverick Viñales in the opening round of the year, the Suzuki man able to end sixth despite the issues.

In 2015 Maverick Viñales finished the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar in 14th and 33.463 seconds behind the race winner, in 2016 he and his Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR were sixth and only 15.423 seconds behind the winner. This is a huge improvement for both Viñales and Suzuki, especially when the 2016 race was seven seconds faster. Big strides have been made and Viñales is happy to start the year well, but was hoping for more. His biggest complaint during the race was with a lack of grip, his bike sliding around due to as yet unknown reasons and limiting his pace. If Viñales is capable of sixth even with problems, then 2016 is set to be a positive year.

Sixth also matches Viñales’ best finish from the 2015 season, achieved at the Catalan and Australian GPs. The goal of returning Suzuki to the podium for the first time since 2008, now seems a realistic one for Viñales. Aside from improving grip, Viñales is also looking to finalise the set-up of the fully seamless gearbox, which should offer small, but critical, improvements. He won't have to wait long for his next chance, the MotoGP™ World Championship heading to Argentina for round two after a week off.

Maverick Viñales: “Finally a sixth place is not a bad result, but it is not enough at this point. The whole weekend I had a very good feeling and my race-pace was around 1’55, while in the race I couldn’t make the same. Honestly, I’m not sure why; in the race I couldn’t find a proper feeling and I felt the bike sliding a lot, so we definitely need to see the data and understand what changed and happened. The positive thing is that for the whole weekend we have been very close to the top, maybe in the race we were a little unlucky because the weekend overall was very positive. I can’t wait to go to Argentina and work again on my GSX-RR; we have a lot of potential. If we manage to find better grip and finalise the set-up of the full seamless, for sure we will fight for the top positions. I must thank the Factory and the Team, they are doing a huge job to support me and I am sure that if we keep working hard we will find the best solution.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2016, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, RAC, Maverick Viñales, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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