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Maverick Viñales at the 2019 Grand Prix of the Malaysia
NEWS

Viñales close to perfection for Malaysian MotoGP masterpiece

Nov 042019

Over 100,000 fans sweated their way through the penultimate chapter of 2019 MotoGP at the demanding Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia but were treated to the cool and collected sight of Monster Energy Yamaha scalping the opposition and posting the team (and manufacturer’s) first victory at the venue in almost ten years.

The Spaniard’s unmatchable capacity to lead from the first lap and then the remaining nineteen circulations was all-encompassing and even a buoyant Marc Marquez could do little about his fellow Catalan once Maverick had made the break.

The feat represented MV12’s first win since the Dutch Grand Prix in June and keeps him seven points ahead of his nearest rival to seal third spot in the championship standings. It was also fair recompense after coming so close to snaring the win in Australia the previous Sunday.

“Amazing,” he said “because in Phillip Island I felt I had the victory in my hands but I made a mistake and I crashed. Here all weekend I have been very consistent with used tyres, new tyres, time attack, so I knew if I could get into first place I had a chance to push, push and push to try to open the gap. I am very happy and pleased so I have to say congratulations to the team because four or five races ago we are improving and I am getting better and I am getting stronger, especially with the rhythm in the first laps. I am very happy so I will enjoy this moment.”

 

“When you work on the factory bike you need to try many things to develop it during the season, so it is always very complicated to keep one bike the same and try to improve yourself,” he revealed. “So since halfway through the season I kept the same bike and tried to improve myself. Even if there were new ítems [to try] I kept the same bike and tried to be at the best level. That’s what we did, understanding the bike better.”

Behind the disappearing #12 teammate Valentino Rossi formed part of a warring trio for the last podium spot. The darling of the mostly-luminous #46 yellow crowd had his hands full with the top speed of Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati and the probing blue Suzuki of Alex Rins. Despite repeated attempts to relegate his countryman Rossi (who clocked the fastest race lap) could not break into the top three and had to settle for fourth. He kept Rins at bay, and chasing air after the Spaniard was Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo; the Petronas Yamaha pair creating headlines with front row grid spots, pole positions and new lap records on Saturday but unable to convert the pace and potential to prizes when it counted.

 

After three weeks of barrelling across Asia and Australia MotoGP catches it breath before the traditional season-closer at Valencia, Spain in mid-November.

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