It is his first pole earned in the field because in Qatar he only had to be the best in the combined free practice sessions because of the rain that cancelled qualifying. In France, Maverick Viñales send a crystal clear signal to the competition after the disappointments in Texas and Spain. In fact, tomorrow the Yamaha rider will start ahead of the rest.
“I already felt fast in FP4. Then I made a few changes to the bike and I didn’t feel the same sensations. In any case, I know that we have all our papers in order to be able to ride a good race tomorrow. I feel good with the settings and I am hoping for a dry race, trusting the weather.”
What are your impressions of the new asphalt?
“There are a few sections where the track takes too long to dry, whereas in others it is a different story. As I said, our hope is that the weather will give us a hand.”
You are coming to Le Mans after two races below expectations.
“This is an important race for getting back my confidence. In Spain I had a few problems with the front, but it seems like the situation here is different. There is more grip, so I want to push from start to finish, taking all possible risks.”
What do you expect from Zarco on the front row?
“I expect him to battle from the first corner. I’m sure he will want to be first. I think he has a good chance to stay up front and I think the work he has done in this period is impressive. The important thing is that he remains calm. All three of us need to be on the podium tomorrow.”
In the end, from Mugello the 70 tyre with the more rigid carcass will return.
“In theory I thought that the riders’ opinions were a secret. I chose that option more in the event that the 70 didn’t work, so having an alternative if needed. Personally, I asked to help all the riders when problems with the front should arise. I’m sure the soft tyre won’t work that well at Mugello.”
Tomorrow you will be racing while Nicky continues to fight for his life. How does a rider feel in these types of situations?
“It is always very difficult. It happened last year with Salom. You can’t concentrate 100% when you have other things on your mind, but the important thing is to ride a good race. We sent our best wishes to him and his whole family, dedicating this race to Nicky.”
The KTM bikes are also in the top ten. Are you surprised?
“They were very good. Pol surprised me a lot since this is not a simple track for a new bike.”