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Even a fall couldn’t stop Maverick Viñales’ charge to third in Free Practice 2 in Argentina.
Another great start to a Grand Prix weekend greeted Maverick Viñales at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina. With the fully seamless gearbox fitted to his Suzuki GSX-RR, he was as deadly as ever as he produced a 1’42.047s to end the opening day in third. Viñales was the only rider other than Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) to get within half a second of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and the only non-Honda in the top five. The time didn’t come easy as Viñales suffered a crash at Turn 3 in the second session, the fall his fault after running wide over a dirty patch. But this result proves that both Viñales and the GSX-RR are competitive at multiple tracks with varying layouts.
Dirt played a major role in opening practice, riders and teams feverishly hunting for grip on the dusty Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. The issue was made more severe as track temperatures reached the high 50s. Knowing he can be amongst the top riders even in tricky conditions will no doubt do Viñales well, the young Spaniard out to return Suzuki to the podium.
Maverick Viñales: “I feel we did a good job today, we did many steps forward and according to the conditions of the track we settled with a good pace. The crash was my fault, I went a little wide in a corner and I found some dirt on the ground; it was a minor crash and with the track in these conditions it was very easy to incur such a mistake. The job we have done today is very important; we settled a good pace and also the fast-lap is not bad. We tried two sets of tyres and I feel confident with the feeling I have both on worn and on new tyres. We still need to work a lot, the track conditions are a little tricky because it’s like walking on eggs, therefore all riders may do big steps forward. Also, the weather is uncertain for tomorrow, it’s a matter to wait and see if it will rain and if the grip on asphalt will improve. We have to be ready to adapt quickly, but for the moment, the progress we have made makes me feel comfortable.”
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