The Yamaha rider had a free practice day of two halves, finishing outside the top ten, in twelfth place, in FP1, before finishing third in FP2. What changed? Without a doubt, the weather. While rain bothered riders during the morning’s session, the asphalt was dry at Le Mans come the afternoon, definitely conditions that Maverick prefers.
From a crash to third place
“Today was a positive day - the Spaniard told Sky Sport MotoGP - during the morning we tried a few things with the tyres, but in the end I crashed with the medium solution. In any case, it was important to do those tests in order to have some information. Then in the afternoon I felt good. We also tested our race pace and I felt really good, so I think we have good potential”.
Viñales’ crash in FP1 came soon after he exited pitlane, a very unusual incident. “I was only going 20km/h! - exclaims Maverick - It was a cold tyre. In these conditions, it’s difficult to find confidence because you can crash at any time, you never know. And so the only solution is to wait until you have feeling and also wait before pushing at turn three which is really dangerous”.
“Too slow to find the set-up at Jerez”
Lastly, Maverick spoke about the highs and lows he experienced between Qatar and Jerez: “It’s a question of how we work over the weekend – he concludes – At the end of Monday’s test at Jerez we were really fast. But over the race weekend we were too slow in finding the set-up. I think we could have done much better at Jerez and Portimão, we had problems with the brakes and didn’t find a solution right away. In any case, I feel good and know I can push”.
Translated by Heather Watson