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MotoGP, Viñales: "Sprint Race win doesn't count for much, but I'm happy"

"Great work by the guys in the factory. The bike is well balanced now. We might not win all the time, but the podium could be consistent. Tomorrow's race? The tires will be an unknown, especially the medium rear."

MotoGP: Viñales:

Surprisingly, it was Maverick Viñales who came up trumps in the Portimão Sprint Race.  Starting second, the Aprilia rider immediately lost positions, but then recuperated, becoming leader with four laps to go, and that's where he stayed until the checkered flag.

"This win doesn't count on the books, but I'm definitely satisfied, because it took a long time to get here. It's like coming full circle. It's definitely a day that motivates you" he said excitedly.

Despite his good performance, it wasn't easy for him because of the gastroenteritis he had at the beginning of the weekend. "I felt horribe," he confided. "I was only able to sleep for an hour on Friday, but there are times when you have to grit your teeth. In Qatar, we were disappointed with the balance and had several difficulties, so it was important to make changes here. We did that. And, in the end, we reaped the benefits. I'm also very happy for the engineers and the brand. They worked hard at the factory these two weeks and gave us what we needed. We'll be going into tomorrow's race with a knife between our teeth."

"Why am I so fast in the fourth sector?" He responded to those who asked him about his strong point: "I don't know, but it's always right for me. Now I have to further improve, because Marquez tackles it very well, and I noticed two or three things to review. Overall, because of the better balance between front and rear, now I can delay braking a little bit and attack. Of course, this is great. The track remains a bit of a mystery, because the conditions change all the time. If it rains, I think there will be more grip, so we'll go faster."

Sounding out the final stages of the mini-race, the Spanish rider stated: "I was gradually ganing ground on Bagnaia. I have no idea if, without his mistake at turn one, I would've caught up with him quickly. However, he's actually getting closer to me while trying not to ruin the tires too much. However, he's not the only one who made a mistake. Marc and Miller were also not immune during the weekend. We, on the other hand, are having a very stable bike, so we have to continue like this. What did I think when I saw Pecco off the track? Just that I had to be perfect, avoid going long, wide, and keep a steady pace."

Looking ahead to Sunday's appointment, the 29-year-old said: "It won't be easy to manage the tires, especially the medium rear, for which we don't have much data. We'll see how it works. The key to competitiveness? A correct balance. We've found it here. The team is precisely working towards finding a basic set-up to stay within that window, so we can easily get back within the parameters in case of a critical issue. That way, we'll be able to resolve issues more quickly. Even if winning every time will be tough, fighting for the podium should be possible at every GP. This is the mindset to adopt."

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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