The sixth MotoGP race weekend of 2017 just came to a close and Maverick Viñales has taken 3 wins and a podium thus far, with his second place finish on the Tuscan hills of Mugello, and only one zero due to his crash in the American Grand Prix in Austin. Team Yamaha Movistar’s number 25 rider tried again today: the Spaniard wanted his fourth win of the season, but he had to lay down his arms before an invincible Andrea Dovizioso, a missile on his Ducati Desmosedici.
Nevertheless, the Championship leader is satisfied with his result: “I am rather pleased with these 20 points that I earned here because today was truly a hard and demanding race - Viñales admitted - We also must consider my crash on Friday afternoon that definitely did not make things easy. I tried to push to the maximum from the start, but Andrea Dovizioso was really fast and it was difficult to keep his pace, because he was very fast with the Ducati Desmosedici.”
Did you expect Ducati to be that fast?
“Yes, of course. The Ducatis are always fast at Mugello, so Dovizioso’s performance did not astonish me. Honestly, I did not expect Petrucci to be so fast. At a certain point, he was faster than everyone else on the track and I had to battle to take back second place, putting a time under one minute 47 on the boards. I managed to get back into second place, but I was unable to catch Dovizioso, so I had to think about the championship standings. I had to use my head.”
In a couple of braking sections at the limit you went long. Was there a drop in tyre performance?
“I was really at the limit, like everyone else. To win, those of us with the Yamaha always need to be careful and intelligent in our set up choices and also with the right tyre choices for our M1. At this moment in the season, our bike is working well.”
You are leading the championship standings. Are you starting to believe that you can win the title?
“It is difficult to believe it all the time. You have to be as fast as possible when you can and try to win if you have the right chance to do so. You also have to put a little pressure on yourself and understand when it is time to try or when to avoid crashing. I have not crashed a lot, but when it has happened, I had some bad tumbles. The names of the rivals who are title contenders? Several: Valentino, Marquez, Pedrosa and, after his win today, Dovizioso too. I will have to battle against them down to the last race on the calendar. ”
Next weekend you go to Barcelona, your home track…
“Yes, I like racing at Montmelò a lot. I am from Barcelona and I have a lot of people there cheering for me. The Spanish track is perfect for my riding style and for the characteristics of my Yamaha. We have excellent settings for that track and we will try to bring home the most points possible in what will be a special race for me.”