Despite finishing the FP2 in 9th place, ahead of his teammate Aleix, in 12th, Maverick isn’t satisfied with the feelings his Aprilia gave to him. He hasn’t yet been able to find the solution to ride serenely in Jerez.
After finishing the race in Portimão in 10th position, 12 seconds from Aleix, Viñales is looking for a way to finally become confident with the Italian bike. The watchwords?
Time and hard work.
"We need to improve. I don't understand. We're one-tenth behind in the pace, six or seven for the flying lap. That’s a big difference. We have to work and reduce this gap, it’s too big."
What’s making it so difficult?
"I'm having a hard time lapping the bike. I don't have grip. I think it's the set-up. I feel good with the worn tires, but I struggle with the new tires, with which I should be doing better. I need time to figure out how to improve.”
You can get your inspiration from Aleix's work.
”We're getting closer to him. We’re faster every session, but I need to work my way up to find what's right for me. Maybe it'll take longer, but I need to ride naturally. That’s tomorrow's goal, nothing special."
What do you think of the track? There are wet spots. Do the conditions require changing trajectory, especially at Turn 8?
"It’s still wet, especially at turns two, eight, and fourteen. You have to go completely inside or completely outside. But that's not a problem.”
We expected to see you happy to be in 9th place.
”I’m not happy with the feeling. We’re still far from being at our best. I’d have preferred to be lined-up in the back but feel good on the bike. I have to work hard."
So you'll do better tomorrow?
”Sure, that's tomorrow's goal. I'm very slow at mid-corner. That’s what we have to work on. It's not normal."
Do you think it's a matter of set-up or is something wrong with the bike?
"I think it's the set-up, a matter of how you go fast here. I have to brake too hard, but there are places where you can't brake late or you go wide. We have some ideas to test the time for tomorrow. It's time to work and try to improve ourselves."
Do you want to brake later? Is the problem you say you have in entering corners or in mid-corner?
"You can't, because you're already at the limit. That’s a way to make your time. I'll try another one tomorrow. Basically, the problem is that I’m really fast in braking, and that's where I make my time. When I mount new tires."
Sometimes, with some motorcycles, braking late and hard isn’t the right way to get a time but, rather, you do it by getting in the corner fast.
"I know that very well, but it's impossible. We’ve been working in this direction with the bike for seven years, and Aleix's strong point is to brake hard inside the corner. He developed the bike for this feature, but not mine. A ninth place isn’t bad, but I want more."