Viñales: “Combination of track and bike helps so much”

Strong opening day for both the Spaniard and teammate Rossi at Silverstone

FP1 saw Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) lead a Yamaha 1-2 with teammate Valentino Rossi second, a statement of intent by both riders as they look set to challenge for a podium – at least – at the GoPro British Grand Prix.

“It’s a track I really love to ride. I love every corner of the track, this will help a lot. The combination of the track and the bike helps so much. We had a good improvement, we can see today that the bike is working better than at previous races and that is so important,” explained Viñales, who ended the day third fastest on the combined timesheets, just 0.061 from Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and 0.056 behind Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).

The Spaniard continued, commenting on how he’s aiming for victory on the track he claimed his maiden premier class win at in 2016: “We’re going to try, at least, to fight for the win. We are building a good weekend. We are quite positive. There is still a lot of work to do but we are going the correct way. With the lines, the riding style.”

The Movistar Yamaha squad brought Michele Gadda in from the Yamaha WorldSBK setup to help with their electronics issues, an area Viñales confirms there is still room to improve on: “On the electronics there is still a little bit of room to improve, which will be very important for the next races.”

And what about on the other side of the garage? Rossi ended Friday eighth quickest on the combined timesheets, but the ‘Doctor’ confirms the bike is working well around Silverstone – confirming his thoughts in Thursdays Press Conference: “It looks like this track is better for the M1, our bike works well, in fact me and Maverick are quite fast.”

Silverstone has brand new asphalt for 2018 and because of this, Michelin gave the teams four compounds to use, with the nine-time World Champion only having tried two so far with track conditions similar to last season: “About the tyres, I tried the soft and mediums, front and rear, it’s always longer work with the tyres because we have to work in a good way. It looks like it’s not changed a lot from last year, so the allocation is good.”

Can Yamaha keep up their strong pace throughout the weekend?

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