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Maverick Viñales at the 2017 Grand Prix of Czech Republic
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Viñales back in the champagne spray at Monster Energy Grand Prix of Czech Republic

Aug 062017

Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales danced through the changeable conditions of the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Czech Republic at Brno to uncork his fifth bottle on the MotoGP podium this year. 194,000 fans filled the banks, pressed against the fences and swapped between umbrellas for shade and rain across the weekend and the tenth fixture of 2017 that awoke the series from a summer break.

Brno was the usual technical and inviting test for the MotoGP field and it was World Champion Marc Marquez who triumphed for the second time in a row ahead of countryman and teammate Dani Pedrosa. After whipping into the pits on lap-four as the damp conditions swiftly dried and the track invited slick tyres and a dry set-up on the factory bikes, Viñales set about recovering places and ground from outside the top ten to make the final podium slot. It was a satisfying reward for the young Spaniard after a tricky start to the weekend where he was searching for pace and confidence. Third position also represented his first set of silverware from the last four outings of MotoGP.

 

“I‘m really happy. Honestly, third was the best we could do today,” #25 said, and after honouring the late Angel Nieto, the first Spanish superstar of Grand Prix as part of the rostrum ceremony. “Finishing third on a tough weekend is a good result. We have to be on the podium, this has to be the norm if we want to win the championship. I came in [to the pits] a little bit late, I think, but at the same time as Dani Pedrosa and some other riders, so it was good for the overall result. This is the first time I finish a flag-to-flag race on the podium, so it gives me a lot of experience.”

 “It is always difficult in these conditions in a flag-to-flag,” the Italian lamented. “It for sure isn't our strongest point, this type of racing, but in the end the result is not so bad. We improved a lot from the last flag-to-flag and I finished fourth, but I think that before the end of my career we can defeat this flag-to-flag race situation!”

“To finish in the top five in Brno is good…but I did want the podium, I aimed for the podium and I didn’t get it so obviously I’m not best pleased,” he reflected. “My team did a great job all weekend.” Jonas Folger, in tenth spot, was the first Monster Yamaha Tech3 home.

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