MotoGP Catalunya: Vinales targets qualifying as ‘main priority’

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Maverick Viñales enjoyed another strong start on the Aprilia RS-GP securing second in the Friday standings at his home race.

Running consistently in the top two across both free practice sessions at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Spaniard tailed his teammate, Aleix Espargaro, in the final times with a 1’39.705 best, set on the 15th of 19 laps around the 4.6km layout.

“Everything is working very smooth,” the obviously pleased Viñales confirmed from the Catan paddock. “I push. I push quite a lot on the soft tyre, but I wanted to see how it was after the time attack so I keep doing laps. The rhythm was very good.

“I’m very excited for what we can do tomorrow because I think it’s going to be a great day and it’s my home GP so I want to do the best. However I feel fantastic on the bike, I feel on a good position. We’ll see but I feel everything is very positive.

“We are carrying a lot of good momentum and after Mugello race, where we signed for two more years and that amazing project with Aprilia, I think everyone is very calm and very focused on the job. This is what we need.

“We have an objective that is to win and we go for it.

While Vinales is yet to complete a full year with the Aprilia squad - having joined the firm from early September - he has regularly featured at the top of the times during practice this season. His next target, however, is clear: a better qualifying performance to allow him to capitalise on his already impressive late-race pace.

“I think every weekend we are improving,” he said on the infancy of his partnership with the Noale factory. “The thing is that we never did a good qualifying so we have to do it. This is our main priority. But the rhythm is improving, overtaking is improving, start is improving. So everything overall is improving.

“We can’t wait to start in the front. This is our main target. If I start in the front I will do an amazing race. I’m sure.”