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Viñales reflects on 2015

Viñales reflects on 2015

MotoGP™ Rookie of the Year, Maverick Viñales, talks about who taught him what in 2015.

In order to become MotoGP™ Rookie of the Year, the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider learnt from the best teachers on two wheels in 2015.

Maverick Viñales' first year in MotoGP™ saw him proclaimed Rookie of the Year for the third time in his career, after having done so both in 125cc and Moto2™ previously. The Team Suzuki Ecstar rider finished twelfth in the overall standings with 97 points, making it a successful return to competition for the factory from Hammamatsu.

Viñales stepped up to the challenge in 2015, and he did so by learning from the fastest and most experienced riders. But who were the best teachers for 'Mack'?

Hot laps
"I think Marc Marquez is the fastest over a single lap. It's really amazing to see the ability he has to make the most of his opportunities. We believe that throughout the year, with qualifying tyres, we have been able to do well - as seen at the Circuit de Catalunya Barcelona."

"Possibly Jorge Lorenzo. He is very consistent and demonstrated that every weekend in 2015, from the first free practice session through to Sunday: He is able to put in the same pace for the entire race, and that is not easy."

"I think that's definitely Jorge again. In my opinion, he is not the best braker on the grid – he doesn't brake especially late – but it is amazing how he handles the throttle and cornering."

"Marc has the ability to brake very, very late, and goes into corners smoothly."

"There are two teachers who are specialists in that: Marc and Valentino Rossi."

In the wet
"I'll go with Yonny Hernandez for that".

"This is the subject for Dani Pedrosa, who always starts well. It does not matter what position he starts from on the grid –in the first few metres he always gains positions."

Qualifying tyres
"Aleix Espargaro knows how to get a lot out of these tyres, and also Iannone and Petrucci. But as I said, over one lap, Marc Marquez is the most effective and the quickest of them all."

Managing tyres in the race
"Dani and Jorge. Marquez and Vale are more aggressive and wear out the tyres more. I think I'm also pretty good at this subject. At the end of a Grand Prix I am one of the riders whose tyres are in the best shape, and who can ride fastest on the last laps."

The best reference
"For me, the best rider to follow is Marc. We have a very similar riding style and whenever he is ahead of me things work out well. Of anyone in the history of the World Championship, I would have liked to follow number 34, the legendary Kevin Schwantz."

Most comfortable rider to follow
"My teammate, Aleix. He has the same bike as me, so it has the same power. In addition, we take similar lines."

Hardest rider to follow
"This year I struggled to follow the Yamahas of Rossi and Lorenzo, but also Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith. They do not brake very late, but have great cornering."

What areas must you improve?
"Above all my starts and my opening laps. I think this is where I have the most room for improvement."

Which area do you think you have done the best in?
"The end of the races. I would say the management of my tyres."

MotoGP, 2016, Maverick Viñales, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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