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Top three for Maverick Viñales as he once again shows the pace to challenge for the podium.
For the second time in 2016, Maverick Viñales concluded a Free Practice 2 session within the top three. In Argentina he ended FP2 in third and then went on to challenge for the podium in the race, a fact that will hopefully repeat itself in Austin. The Team Suzuki Ecstar rider’s 2’04.895 saw him finish within a second of the marvellous Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who dominated the field. The time also put him 0.155s back on Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), the battle for the podium looking tight already as three other riders were within 0.1s of Viñales.
Perhaps what is the most encouraging aspect of Viñales’ third is that the Suzuki GSX-RR is no longer struggling for power, able to match the likes of Yamaha out of the corners and down the straights. His Suzuki machine worked particularly well in the first two sectors, where the track is at its most technical. Braking stability remains a problem for Viñales on the nimble Suzuki, but knowing is half the battle and his team already have a plan to solve the issue.
Maverick Viñales: "We have done a good job today, we did many improvements throughout the sessions and most importantly I did my best time with worn and used tyres, which mean we are pretty confident with the pace. We still miss some improvements, we already have some ideas and I guess tomorrow we will go to improve further. I feel very confident in sector 1 and 2, more technical and fast, which are the ideal path for my GSX-RR’s characteristics. I still miss something with the stability in hard braking, and this is the reason why I lose-out in sector 3 and 4. But we are conscious of the problems and this will allow us to find effective solutions. The step forward we made from the morning to the afternoon is very important, but yet this is not enough; tomorrow the others will improve a lot and therefore we must do the same."
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