13 Mar, 2017
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Qatar MotoGP Test: Testing clean sweep for Vinales, lauds ‘incredible pace’

Maverick Vinales tops final MotoGP preseason test of 2017; feels he could have gone even faster at end of his race simulation.

Qatar MotoGP Test: Testing clean sweep for Vinales, lauds ‘incredible pace’
Qatar MotoGP Test: Testing clean sweep for Vinales, lauds ‘incredible pace’
Four official tests done, and Maverick Viñales has topped the lot. But more than outright speed, Qatar has shown the 22-year old sensation has pace to match after posting a race run on Sunday evening that was the envy of the paddock.

“We have incredible pace,” admitted Viñales at the close of the three days, his fastest time of 1m 54.330s enough to top the time sheets by 0.071s. It was that pace which will be of greatest concern to his rivals.

In his race simulation, 16 of the 20 laps conducted at the end of the day had most – Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso included – labelling him as the clear favourite to win the season opener at this track on March, 26th.

It was the final lap of that run that stood out. A 1m 55.1s was less than a tenth slower than the best time in that succession of laps. And unsurprisingly Viñales wasn't totally satisfied.

“We did a really good job,” he said. “It's never perfect, you always want more. I wanted to go to '54s, because last year Jorge did. But anyway, I think we did a good job.

“I got a little bit penalised because I needed to stop many laps. But finally we recovered good, I recovered good the pace, so I feel good on the bike.



“We test different set-ups. Especially on the front, and finally we gained a lot there, so I'm happy for that. All the team did a great job, and we are improving.

“I was feeling really strong at the end, 55 lows, I could even go a little bit faster, but maybe was too risky.

“But I think it was on a good way, we ended the test on a good way, many laps. From the fitness I feel incredible on the bike, so that's nice.

“I think we have quite clear ideas. When I go to the track, normally I try to don't make mistakes, trying to be constant, braking at the same point. Here it's difficult, maybe you are alone on the track, there is a lot of humidity.

“You just brake and crash. Normally we try to run when there are a lot of bikes, so the humidity didn't affect us so much.”

On whether he will travel to the first race expecting to win, he continued: “I didn't put that pressure, not on me, not on the team. I think we must work for the win, but we don't have to win.

“It's just the first race. We have to get experience. But anyway, for sure our goal is to win, because after the test, we have seen that we have incredible pace, so we are going to try to continue on that level.”

And do these recent testing performances make him the clear favourite for the 2017 MotoGP crown?

“I don't know. There are many riders who can be the favorite for the championship. At least the ones from Ducati, from Yamaha, from Honda can be the champions.

“There are many riders who are strong, even the rookies like Folger and Zarco are quite strong also. So they can make a surprise.

“I think Marc [is the biggest threat]. He is always being there in the front, all the races, so he is the most constant.

“Also Valentino, it's incredible how Valentino manages the races. There I can improve a lot, and also learn from him.”

Maverick Vinales - Race Simulation:
1. 1m 55.093
2. 1m 55.093
3. 1m 55.188
4. 1m 55.279
5. 1m 57.216
6. 1m 55.604
7. 1m 55.253
8. 1m 55.387
9. 1m 57.746
10. 1m 55.927
11. 1m 55.712
12. 1m 55.405
13. 1m 55.344
14. 1m 55.558
15. 1m 55.164
16. 1m 55.266
17. 1m 55.253
18. 1m 57.846
19. 1m 55.523
20. 1m 55.169



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19 Comments

  • Codger 13 Mar, 2017 11:15:28
    Do you remember when we were wondering if Marc was going to win all 18 races in a season ?
    Do you remember when we tipping Marc to win the Title every year until he surpassed Rossi ?
    Now we have Maverick. He and the Yam are a match made in heaven, much like Casey and the 2007 Ducati.
    Bear in mind, too, that the Suzuki isn't working so well without him, so far. The lad is a 22 yr old phenomenon.
  • Whatifthatis 13 Mar, 2017 20:16:24
    The psych pressure is already there. At the Valencia test VR spoke of MV. Then it became teammate.

    Now it's the other side of the garage.
    I think a wall will not be accepted at Yamaha. But it will go pretty cold pretty soon if MV does what he does at this moment.

    And no MotoGP won't die if he leaves. At Valencia 2016 there was about a much red 93 and blue 25 as there was yellow 46 at the stands.

    The sport is bigger then one person.It survived Mamola, Swantz, Doohan, Roberts SR, Ago, Read and the late Surtees.
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