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Maverick Viñales at the 2017 Grand Prix of Qatar

Viñales completes MotoGP dream Yamaha debut

Mar 272017

Maverick Viñales closed the book on the questions, doubts and bench racing leading into 2017 MotoGP series by extending his pre-season testing dominance into an authoritative victory at rain-hit Qatar. The twenty-two year old celebrated his first triumph for Movistar Yamaha in what was (eventually) a dry and shortened sprint at Losail through defeating Andrea Dovizioso and a surprising recovery by teammate Valentino Rossi who made the box in third place.

“This race was so difficult,” Viñales said. “You spend the pre-season trying your best but you don't know if it will be enough so I was very happy to take this first win for Yamaha. When you have this extra pressure and motivation then it pushes you. When it started to rain then it meant the first laps were really difficult but when I got to my own pace I could concentrate and save the tyre to be strong at the end of the race. To control anything in MotoGP is difficult but I was fast once I got my feeling and when I saw Valentino was behind me I thought ‘right, now you really have to concentrate!’ Dovi started to push when I got close to him and it was really difficult, not easy at all but I could win and battle in the right way. I felt great.”


“Lots of emotions when I crossed the finish line; it was a cocktail of emotions actually,” Franky said. “You think about everything in your life and I was trying to take all I was feeling and to absorb it. It was so nice.”