He believed in it for nine laps then, because of his tires, Maverick Viñales saw his first victory for 2023 fade away. Starting from a second place, the Aprilia rider finished fourth after a great start and after having dictated the pace for a good part of the Sprint Race on the Mandalika circuit.
“I’m very proud of my team, but we have to do something to improve our performance,” he said. “When there were six laps left at the end, my tires were destroyed, but they’re not the blame. It’s our bike that destroys them. We’ll have to figure out why, also in view of tomorrow. I was even conservative at the beginning of the GP but, suddenly, I no longer had grip.”
Convinced that Michelin isn’t to blame, Maverick went into more detail about the problem that limited him. “I was in the lead, and I was fighting. The fact that this problem arose surprised me because, during the rest of the weekend, it never happened and, above all, I never suffered such drops on the rear. Of course, there are still unforeseen events that can happen, but we’ll have to work on them, also because I wasn’t pushing too hard. I was just controlling and, in an instant, especially when braking, I ended up with destroyed tires.”
After anticipating that he’ll be riding with a medium compound for the long race, the 28-year-old rider talked about the good pace he had Saturday. “We’ve managed to put everything together, especially in terms of electronics,” he said. “Our current weakness? It’s at the start. We didn’t work on it during the winter, and we’ll definitely have to for 2024.”