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MotoGP, Viñales: "Great win in the Sprint, but I made magic in qualifying"

"During the winter tests, I wasn't at all happy with the new bike. But the Aprilia technicians worked really hard, and now I feel really comfortable. I think we can get very good results this year."

MotoGP: Viñales:

Maverick Viñales' Saturday in Texas couldn't have gone better. He was poleman of the day, thanks to a record time of 2'00"864, and literally dominated in the Sprint Race. "The change started from Qatar last year, when my crew chief and data engineer found the balance I needed to go fast with this bike and eliminate my imbalance in riding. Since then,we've gottten a pole in Valencia and, even if there have been mistakes, we've always been up ahead. We found the right grip on the front. This consistency is giving us confidence. Already having won in Portugal had taken a big weight off my shoulders. When you feel comfortable on the bike, you're obviously much more convinced. Much of this is also thanks to the guys on the team," the Aprilia rider stated, before going into detail about the progress.

"All the Noale riders are now able to start better. It's clear that we're still missing something, but it'll come. During the winte,r we worked a lot on the clutch, and we're seeing the results. In today's MotoGP, if you lunge ahead, you do great race. So the goal is always to gain the front row, and then end without too many problems."

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, the tires could be an unknown. "At the finish, I looked at Marquez's, and they were pretty much like mine but with a little graining on the right. The only doubt I have is about the mediums because, on laps five and six, I was able to lap on 2'3"0. So we still have to figure that out. Overall, they were still in good condition, so I could have laps on a 2'2", which is good. Of course twenty laps is a lot on this track. There0s still work to be done tonight."

Then he admitted: "I'm enjoying the moment. But more than the success in the sprint, it's the time I reached in qualifying that I'm excited about. I really did something magical. I've never felt so good, and I believe we can do great things in this 2024. I had been competitive in Portugal, but I can always pull out something more here. However, there are many competitive riders, so I think it'll be a good battle tomorrow. I can ride naturally now, and I know what I can ask of my RS-GP and how to bring out the best. This is all thanks to what the engineers have done in terms of tire response. Am I like  Maverick in 2017 with the Yamaha? No, now I'm at a totally different level, because I have more experience, and I'm also doing well physically. I've obviously rolled up my sleeves. I thank my family. in order to totally focus on the races, I'm neglecting it. I hope this result can be a reward."

A thought also went to Marquez, who was second at the finish line: "I'm happy to have shared the podium with him. We've been here a long time and still up in front. Let's say there's a lot of talent in the top three today."

The crowd made the race even more exciting. "It was incredible. We're growing a lot. In the end, we're here also thanks to them."

Returning to the more technical aspects, Maverick said, "We improved the shape shifter, and that allowed us to take a big step forward and go into the race more relaxed. Today, at one point, I could afford not to push too hard, so as not to destroy the tires. So I just managed the rear one. In the evening, we'll try to figure out how to behave in the GP."

Finally, he spoke again about the winter tests: "I didn't feel comfortable at all on the new bike and, in Malaysia, I fell strangely at the last corner. But we worked on teh set-up and balance. We were still struggling in Losail, but we changed the weight distribution in Portimão, and everything changed for the better, also because of the aerodynamics."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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