YAMAHA WIN BIG the top six finishers in Argentina GP are on M1s
TOP STORY Viñales wins, Rossi finishes second and four of
Maverick Viñales says his stunning start to the 2017 season has been ‘almost unbelievable’, after doubling up at the Argentine Grand Prix on Sunday to make it two wins from two starts so far in his Movistar Yamaha career.
Incredibly, he became the first Yamaha rider to win the opening two races of the season since Wayne Rainey in 1990 as he once again looked flawless at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. As well as taking another emphatic win, Viñales extended his championship lead over team-mate Valentino Rossi to 14 points.
Viñales admits the speed at which he’s adapted to his new M1 has surprised many – himself included. “Let’s say that I didn’t expect this before I got on the Yamaha,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that you can make a start like this. All the pre-season at the front then two victories gives us a lot of motivation, but we have to keep on the right path and work really hard. We have a good bike, but we can still improve.”
It might only have been his second race on Yamaha machinery, but he showed just how mature a talent he is during the 25-lap battle. Making a steady start to the race (as he did in Qatar) while title rival Marc Marquez set a blistering pace at the front, he was able to build his speed as he found a rhythm in the race, before easily dispatching Cal Crutchlow to take the lead on lap three.
And even then, he remained alert to any danger of a late charge coming from those pushing hard behind him.
He added: “I was thinking a lot – how to use the different maps, how to save the tyres – in case someone was coming from the back and in case I had to push a little more. In the end though, I read the race really well, the team did a great job with my pit board and I was calm and enjoyed riding the bike.
“It was an amazing feeling crossing the finishing line with all the team there.”
And with an impressive start to the season and the reigning champion in disarray, the 22-year-old has a chance to really hammer home his dominance at the next Motogp round at the Circuit of the Americas – a track that has previously been a happy hunting ground for Marquez.
Viñales said: “Austin is a good track for me, and we can improve our bike there too. We’ll work hard and try to take another step to see if we can be even more competitive. I know Marc is really good there, but it’s somewhere where I go fast as well. If we go with the same mentality and a good set-up, then we know the way to go fast and anything is possible. I’m confident we can get a good result there.”