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10 days ago
By Team Suzuki Ecstar

Viñales: “My request was to have more rear-grip”

An aggressive ride put Maverick Viñales fourth at the end of the Catalan GP before an incredibly positive test.

"My pace would have allowed me to fight for the podium" Maverick Viñales

Right from the start of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was on the pace and attacking constantly. He tried to stay with the leading riders but a hard battle with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) saw the pair drop out of contention for victory.

Viñales’ early aggression took its toll on his tyres, the Spaniard lacking the rear grip to try and close the gap. He crossed the line in fourth but 24.388 seconds behind winner, and future teammate, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). In the championship standings he sits fifth, only ten points behind Pedrosa.

Maverick Viñales: “I’m happy with the final result of the race, although I had to struggle towards the end with the rear grip and maybe I couldn’t take the whole profit from of our race. I managed to make a really good jump and stay close to the leading group, my laps were consistent and fast, but it took me a lot to overtake for the fifth and then to the fourth positions, stressing my tyres. I’m happy, but it’s also a pity, because if I managed to overtake sooner, my pace would have allowed me to fight for the podium. We still lack in rear grip, we have been dealing with this for a while now. We still have room for improvement, but overall I can say I’m happy with this fourth place; it’s a good way to remember my friend Luis Salom who passed away on Friday.”

Monday’s test began with a clear goal for Maverick Viñales: improve rear grip. He and the team had elected not to run the new chassis they tested in private at Valencia for the Catalan GP, but brought it out for the day of testing. Significant improvements came with the new frame, improving Viñales’ confidence dramatically, especially in the middle of corners. The day ended with Viñales in third thanks to a best time of 1’44.310, marginally faster than he went in Qualifying.

"I guess we will keep the evolution chassis in Assen and try to work on that as a base" Maverick VIñales

“We focused on testing the evolution chassis that we already had in Valencia and I really feel more confident with it. For the race weekend here in Catalunya we decided to go back to the standard frame as it was too risky to go with the new one, but with the work we’ve done today, and the new settings we tried, the improvement is significant. Compared to Sunday’s pace I could improve a lot, but also the general feeling is better, as it allows me to ride with more confidence. My request was to have more rear-grip, and Suzuki worked to modify the chassis in order to be more efficient in this area. Now I feel more confident in the middle part of corners and this allows me to be less aggressive on the tyres. The engineers will now study and revise all data, but I guess we will keep the evolution chassis in Assen and try to work on that as a base. ”

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Viñales: "Very happy with the new chassis"

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