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MotoGP, Vinales: "To be competitive now we need perfection, we have margin"

"A P4 without giving everything is a fantastic result, now the priority is to reduce the front locking. On the pace we are there, we know we have margin." Aleix: " Since testing, the Aprilia has improved in braking, but the hard compound will be problematic in these temperatures."

MotoGP: Vinales:

Friday at Le Mans bodes well for the two Noale flag bearers. Maverick hits the fourth fastest lap time for Q2, the same succeeds to Aleix who also places his Aprilia in Q2 thanks to the 7th time. A result that testifies to the great step forward of the Venetian manufacturer in terms of competitiveness and consistency on different circuits. For Bat-Maverick, fifth in the standings, it will therefore be crucial to take that further step forward in order to aspire to another victory on the French weekend after the one at the Circuit of the Americas. In today's MotoGP every little detail makes a difference, riders duel on the edge of tenths , and the Spaniard is now aware that to compete with the Borgo Panigale the only option is perfection in detail.

"We started the weekend on the right foot," Vinales began, "we have a lot of data to analyze to improve, but the sensations were great right from the start and the lap times were very fast. To start like this here in Le Mans is a very good sign, it means we have room for improvement, both for Saturday and on race Sunday."

The difference from your rivals is minimal.
"You have to be perfect by now, you need a perfect lap. For us obviously the goal was to get in the first two rows at the most, but it is better to be on the front row is clear. The positive note is that we know we have margin."

Where can we still improve?
"There is no precise point on the track, but today I had the feeling that the front was closing under braking and that made me inaccurate. If you are not precise, acceleration also suffers. But this is a P4 with a two-tenths gap without having given my best, it's a fantastic result. Also on the pace I am one of the fastest, so tomorrow I will have to give everything to do well in qualifying and make a good sprint."

Your rivals see you as a contender for the podium, what do you think?
"Right now it is possible. There is one exit that I don't understand how Pecco and Martin dealt with it, they lapped on the low 1'31, maybe they were on low fuel to see how the bike behaved. On the pace we're there, if I'm able to take the lead right away I have a very good chance, otherwise I'll have to move up the leaderboard like in the past. Now our primary goal is to reduce the 'locking' at the front, it's what is blocking us from taking that extra step we are looking for, I rode over this problem but I would prefer to have more grip."

Aleix: Since the Jerez tests, the Aprilia has taken another step forward.

Like Maverick is of the same opinion, positive, Aleix Espargarò. Having conquered Q2 at the end of the French Friday and momentarily put aside thoughts about whether or not to retire from racing, it is time for the Spaniard to enjoy the French track, which with its stop-and-go suits his riding style well. An important result at Le Mans could be a good cue for the Spaniard to decide on his future.

"I had more fun than I expected," Aleix interjects , "I made a small mistake on the fast lap and lost a couple of tenths. I must admit that in my whole career I have never seen on Friday a circuit already so full of spectators. I really enjoy coming to places where you can hear people who love our sport, it's great."

When you are on the track how much does this affect a rider? Or does concentration take over?
"Both at the exit and at the entrance of the pitlane you see the stands full, it's rare to see it already on Friday, even in Jerez which is a fantastic track you never see anyone on Friday. That's also why I had to cheat to sleep last night, at midnight it was still very loud, so loud that I thought someone was partying in my motorhome. But it's nice, they're having fun and it's part of the show."

What are your expectations for Saturday?
"I feel very competitive, after Qatar it is one of my best circuits. However, I think that if these temperatures remain the race will not be so fun for you and the fans, because the stress on the front will be high and you will see the little trains on the track again, but I hope I am wrong. Qualifying tomorrow will be important. Facing a stop-and-go circuit is what makes me happy and makes me feel competitive, the feeling on the bike is great and the bike has improved. Since the Jerez tests we have tried to change the ergonomics of the bike and now it is better in braking and I stress the front less."

Like Maverick did you have problems with front-end lock-up? You use different setups.
"I think everyone has had it, the feeling of the hard on the front is that it's soft, yet it's the hardest compound we have. The lap times though show that we are fast, under the track record. It will be a difficult factor to handle at the race on Sunday. Maverick has a different setup from mine though, because he is smaller in build and uses a different tank. Our aerodynamics are also different, especially at the rear of the bike."

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