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Catalan news outlet Diari de Girona reports that Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha), from Roses in Girona, north of Barcelona, has made a donation to two hospitals in the area to help in their fight against Covid-19.
In the past, Viñales has been known to support fights against cancer, as well as other causes. Now the Yamaha rider has donated masks and protective screens to University Hospital de Girona Doctor Josep Trueta and Hospital de Santa Caterina, both located in Girona, as Spanish health services strain under the coronavirus pandemic.
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Speaking to Diari de Girona, Viñales said: “Health is the most important… we try to help our own areas with all the resources we can, but now we’re trying to open up new possibilities to help other hospitals in the area.”
Now living in Andorra, a small principality between Spain and France, the MotoGP™ rider faces lockdown, like most of the world: “We go out as little as possible, just to go shopping, because we’re in lockdown until further notice. If you go without go reason, you will be fined. You’re not allowed to anything unless it’s absolutely vital.”
In order to be ready to go racing once the crisis is over, Viñales is exercising at home. “I’m stretching and doing bodyweight work.” But he’s also finding that he’s returning to some old favourite pastimes: “I read and draw. As I live with two other people, we’re making the most of the time to play videogames on the PlayStation. I’ve gone back to studying nutrition, which I find really interesting for my sport”.
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And looking to the 2020 season, he explains “the calendar is condensed. They’ve taken away a lot of the rest weeks but I’d like to do all the races and they’ve all be pushed back. I’m not worried that they’re stacking up, I think that the competition will be more interesting. Definitely doing so many races in a row will be physically demanding but I’ll take them on as always.”
“It’ll be many months without riding a bike, so going straight into a race we’ll really see who has done the work,” says Viñales. “We’ll need a few days on the bike go get the rhythm back, but going straight into the first race seems good to me.”
But he believes that it’s important to have our priorities in order at this time: “The most important thing is to look after your health and safety. Around 80 per cent of the paddock is from Spain or Italy, so until they’ve solved the problem we can’t start.”
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Of course the objectives will be the same as every year: “Win the title, or at least fight until the end. I want to be at the helm of Yamaha.”