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By DAZN España

"Maverick will be one of Marc's biggest rivals"

Viñales' rider coach, former 125cc World Champion, Julian Simon believes the Yamaha man is up for the fight in an "explosive" 2020

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales appeared to be at his very best in the build-up to the 2020 MotoGP™ World Championship, after topping the final test in Qatar and showing some dangerous pace on used tyres in Malaysia. It looked like the 25-year-old was more than ready to take the fight to Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) for the premier class title; something that the 2009 125cc World Champion Julian Simon, Viñales' rider coach, also believes.

Speaking to DAZN earlier in the week about his lightweight class title victory, the Spaniard also reflected on his new career in Viñales' corner and gave his honest thoughts on how he feels the factory Yamaha man will perform in 2020. Simon feels that the upcoming season could be the best chance yet to dethrone the six-time premier class Champion, but that consistency will be absolutely key for anyone confident of mounting a title challenge. 

"It's a great opportunity for all of Marc's rivals," said the Spaniard. "Marquez is clearly the favourite because he's the current Champion and in such an explosive Championship Marc will be at an advantage because he's very explosive. Therefore, what you have to do is be constant, in such a short championship you cannot make mistakes, you must always be in the Top 3 or Top 5, without fail. I'm sure that Maverick will be amazing, he's training very hard and will be at a high level. We will enjoy this championship a lot."

"The important thing is that he works at his maximum, that he gives his 100%, because when he does that he wins races. Therefore he will be one of Marc's biggest rivals. Maverick is training as hard as he can, he's got a lot of confidence and he's going to do really well, I'm convinced of it."

"The truth is that I've been really lucky because it's really difficult when you leave racing to stay connected to the paddock. I started with Tito to be a bit of a coach, and the truth is that I really liked being with him that year. I learned a load and we helped each other a lot. Then I got the chance that I had dreamed of to go to MotoGP with a factory team, and even better with Maverick, a great friend that I've known since he was really young and I didn't even have to think about it, I said 'with Maverick, with Esteban Garcia in Yamaha, MotoGP.... let's go'. I wasn't able to be a MotoGP rider, but here I am in an official Yamaha box. Right now I'm in a dream, really happy to be with Maverick and all the Yamaha team".