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Buoyed by his Dutch GP win, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) arrived at the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland confident of a good result – and that’s exactly what he got.
The Spaniard put together a strong performance throughout the weekend to eventually take the chequered flag behind runaway race winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) after launching from P3. Second in the race, with Marquez’ 100% win record at the Sachsenring, was the best anyone could have hoped for this weekend and coming into Round 9, P2 was the target for Viñales.
Viñales: "Yamaha are working in the right way"
“For us, we understood that here the best position could be second. Only a mistake from Marc would allow us to be first, so we knew. We did the objective. For us being second, here, it’s my best result here,” explained Viñales, with his previous premier class best coming last season when he was third behind Marquez and teammate Valentino Rossi.
“I started really well and had some good first laps, which means a lot, it’s prepared me for Brno. We need to keep working. I’m really happy, we understand the way to go, Yamaha is working in a good way, I know our strong and weak points, so it’s good to have a summer break to improve the bike and to improve myself.”
Viñales has been riding well for the last three rounds and if it wasn’t for the Lap 2 drama in Barcelona, it could well have been three podiums on the spin. But it wasn’t an easy ride for the number 12 rider on Sunday, he had Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) crawling all over his tailpipes for pretty much the entire race as conditions proved to be a lot trickier than they were on Friday or Saturday.
In 15 mins: German Grand Prix MotoGP™ highlights
“This morning the grip level was so low, then after Moto2 ever lower, the lap times were really slow, much slower than last year, so the tyre choice was very very difficult,” said Viñales, with overnight rain and cooler temperatures seriously affecting tyre choice.
“We gambled with the hard because I’d worked most with the hard but it was on the limit as to whether it would finish the race, so I took the gamble and I said okay, if on the last ten laps I need to slow down, I’ll slow down but I’ll be at the front, so we took that and luckily Cal’s tyre dropped too and I could handle him. Very happy, very pleased for Yamaha also, it’s very important to get a consistent first and second in two consecutive races, for us it’s incredibly good.
“I’m really happy because we are getting good results, I’m in a good way and, somehow, we’ve found a way to make the bike work, especially for myself. Being at these two tracks, and I think Montmelo, being able to fight for the victory was very important because last year we struggled a lot. It’s true that last year we arrived here and did second and third but we struggled. I can’t wait for Brno to try the new bike, the new things and see if we make a step.”
Post-race Press Conference: German GP
Top Gun’s confidence is seemingly sky-high after a couple of much-needed results and now, after a three-week break, Viñales faces tracks that he really enjoys.
“For us it’s really important to prepare well for the second half of the season, to achieve more good results, there are tracks I really like, like Silverstone, Misano, Australia, Japan, there are many tracks I really like and I think we can get some really good results, so we have to survive at the tracks where we don’t feel good like here but being second is amazing.”