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Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was second quickest on Day 1 at Sepang International Circuit, as a dry FP1 provided the combined timesheets for the day after an FP2 washout - behind only reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Viñales was optimistic about the weekend after a stunning ride to the podium at Phillip Island – but with weather then playing havoc with further sessions, found frontrunning pace harder to find in the wet.
Qualifying on the third row in a wet Q2 and then quickest in a dry Warm Up on Sunday morning, the heavens opened before the race and Viñales found himself not able to keep the pace of those at the front over race distance, with electronics progress in the dry not yet mirrored in the wet.
With Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) taking a podium finish, Viñales is now 17 points behind his compatriot in the fight for third in the title, with one race remaining – home turf in Valencia.
Maverick Viñales (P6): “Although sixth place is not so bad, I’m disappointed with the race result. We had a very positive weekend and I performed very fast in the dry, I really had hopes for a podium and also for a victory, but unfortunately in wet conditions we are not competitive yet. We struggle to find a good configuration with the electronics, which makes my riding very hard, in particular when it comes to acceleration. I can’t feel confident with the traction control, therefore resulting in me riding very carefully as I didn’t want to incur a high-side that could prevent me finishing the race. We have made many improvements on the machine and now we have reached a positive competitiveness in dry conditions, but the progress we’ve made in the wet is not enough. This result also proved the positives of the last three races; they were at three completely different circuits and we’ve proved we can adapt and be strongly-competitive in any kind of layout. Now the objective is to have the same competitiveness no matter what the weather conditions.”
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