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MotoGP France: Upbeat Vinales feeling 'great' in wet

Movistar Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales had few complaints with the performance of his M1 in a rain-hit opening day at Le Mans in France.
Maverick Vinales gave a positive assessment of his performance in the wet conditions at Le Mans in France, where the Yamaha rider was 10th fastest overall.

Vinales was 10th in FP1 and eighth quickest in FP2, setting his best lap in 1m 41.307s in the morning session, which left him 3.8 seconds down on Jack Miller's table-topping lap.

“I always learn, every time I go on the track I learn. The bike was good today and I was really good in the rain, especially in FP1 when there was less water on the track, I felt really good,” said Vinales, who is second in the MotoGP World Championship, only two points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi after the first four rounds.

“We sacrificed some laps on the dry tyres to make some more laps on the rain tyres and I was feeling really great; I was riding like the rest in the morning. In the afternoon, there was a lot of water on the track and it was a little bit more slippy, but anyway I was feeling really good on the bike. I think with some more laps I could get my lap times down and be quite close to the front,” he added.

“We improved the bike, especially on the electronics side, but still we need a little bit more grip on the bike. We are managing to improve.”

Vinales is satisfied with the set-up of his Movistar Yamaha and is continuing in a similar vein from the opening races of 2017 with the factory YZR-M1.

“We continued like the first and second races, with the same set-up, and I was feeling really great. I was having a lot of grip in the front, which was important, and we want to go like that. We tried in the test in Le Mans and the bike was working really good with our basic set-up, so I think we are going to try like that,” he said. “We will try to improve but already in the firs laps we are quite competitive.”

The Spaniard is impressed with the resurfacing work that has been carried out at Le Mans, which he feels offers significantly enhanced grip levels.

“Already when I tried in the test in the rain, there was a lot of grip, so I think the new asphalt brings a lot of grip because last year and the other years, it was so difficult to ride in Le Mans in the rain. It was like a lottery not to crash.

“So I think they have done a good job but the only thing is it is difficult to dry; it takes a lot of time and there are many patches, but anyway I think they did a really good job and I am happy with that. And also the Michelin tyres were working really good today, from the first lap to the last lap there was a good grip. It's really nice to ride now in Le Mans.”

Tagged as: Valentino Rossi , Miller , 2017 , Vinales

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