Maverick Viñales can’t shake off the elation from his podium win from 10 days ago as he arrives in Mugello. Will his next race bump him off Cloud 9?
— Maverick Viñales (@maverickmack25) May 12, 2016
Viñales was the underdog who brilliantly came up top at Le Mans. While he initially struggled with his setup all weekend, his comeback landed him up on the podium in third place. It was his first ever MotoGP podium win and Suzuki’s third since 2008. You can’t blame him for feeling a little smug as he prepares for Mugello, but the Tuscan track will be no pushover. With its infamous 1.141km straight and mix of fast and slow corners, it’s going to pose a significant challenge to Viñales. It’s a good thing he’s feeling optimistic.
“I can still feel the emotions of 10 days ago in France, the first podium both for me and Suzuki was unbelievable and gave me even more motivation. The weekend hadn’t been easy at all, we struggled to find a good balance and efficiency, but finally with my crew, we found a new set-up on Sunday that allowed me to find some more confidence. It’s a good feeling, we progress day after day and this is a good reassurance. Of course we still need to work hard, we have so much potential to be exploited and we must stay focused. Mugello is a very nice track, so fast and technical, it would suit our characteristics. We have seen that by working hard we can fight and be close to the top; and this is still our objective.”
As he knows, getting his set-up right will be crucial this time around. At 49 championship points, Viñales is just four points behind Dani Pedrosa and could well exceed him if he plays his cards right. So now, he’s rearing to make that strong start that will propel him to fourth in the rankings. We’re sure the fumes from his last victory will only be the wings on his heels.