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MotoGP, Viñales: "A result that reassures me, but we're still not perfect"

The Spanish rider entered the Q2, second behind Martin. "Tomorrow will be a matter of very few tenths. Martin and I are already very fast. One of the best starts to the weekend since I've been at Aprilia. A great job by the team, already since Portimão. I'm going to work on engine braking and pick up on right-hand corners tomorrow."

MotoGP: Viñales:

The first day of free practice at the COTA showed was more than positive for the Noale constructor, which entered the Q2 with both of its riders. Viñales' second-best time in the FP2, a 2'01''473, just a few hundredths behind Martin's Ducati, is a result that bodes well for the Spanish rider, who is back from an unfortunate technical failure in Portimão, when he was leading the race. So the assumptions are of the best, but Viñales knows that, in today's MotoGP, having a good base on Friday is an advantage he needs to work on, in order to aspire to perfection ahead of qualifying.

"It was a very good Friday. The sensations on the bike and on the track are very good," he commented. "This is a track where, when you feel comfortable, you can push in the fast corners."

Fast sectors seem to be a strength of yours.
"Yes, but I still have room for improvement. We're not perfect, yet. Tomorrow, I'll focus on sectors three and four, but it'll be a matter of very few tenths. Today, Martin and I were already very fast. It was great. When I saw that I was approaching the 2'01 limit, and I risked to ending up over the curb ,I said 'let's put it all together and have a clean lap'. I'm very proud of the work the team did today, it's something that started as early as last weekend inPortimão . The bike is competitive, and the speed is there. I'm ready to take on Saturday."

What aspects do you feel you still need to work on?
"I think we still need to improve on braking. With the medium on the rear, we have a good set-up. But, with the soft, I think the engine brake still has room for improvement. Also, I can maybe push myself even more to the limit. Maybe take some risks. It was a positive day. We won't have to touch the bike. Everything is working properly."

Despite the problem at Portimão, is it your best time since you joined Aprilia?
"Since Qatar, we realized what we've been missing. We've always managed to be competitive. I think it's a really good time, but we got there in stages, working with the team. That's how you build the right confidence. Obviously, now I feel even faster than in the last race, and I can't wait to get back in the pits and reunite with the team. It's going to be a tough night because both compounds are really good, and we don't know which is the best option, yet."

A great start to the weekend that perhaps makes up for the problem in the last race.
"It was definitely one of the best starts to the weekend, since I've been in Aprilia. Now we're competitive or, at least, I'm not losing positions, which is already a step forward. Let's see if we can get another upgrade in the future, in order to fight more consistently at the top of the standings. A result like today's reassures me because, with a good grid position and a good start, pushing in the first three to four laps, maybe I could take the lead in the race right away."

It seems that the new asphalt has less grip. One of Aprilia's strengths. is it an advantage that could wane over the weekend?
"Hard to say. It's something that happens in every race. Last year, Oliveira and I were the best in the last sector. The bike is very competitive in long corners, going into the race in terms of traction, but there are still three points on the track where we have a margine, such as braking at twelve, and the three right-hand corners, where I struggle to pull the bike up quickly. That's what I'll work on tomorrow."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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