Maverick Viñales – Fighting & Full Of Confidence – Exclusive Feature Interview
Maverick Viñales is one of the Moto3 riders who can hardly be overlooked this season.
Every race weekend he can be found in the thick of the scrap for the top 3 positions, battling it out with some of his closest rivals. In all of the 10 previous rounds of this year’s world championship calendar he has displayed a very consistent performance and was able to achieve a podium finish every time.
When Vroom Magazine caught up with the young rider from Catalonia on the Silverstone weekend, he was focused and very settled, within the team and also within himself…
Looking back at 2013’s previous rounds, Maverick summarises the season so far in a very positive way.
“It’s going very well. I’m very happy because we’ve been working a lot since the start of the season. The KTM is performing well and we continue to work hard. We’ve improved a lot from race to race and will continue to try and step up another gear at all the remaining races.”
It definitely looks like the team has gelled well and Viñales’ mechanics have found ways to get the best out of the Team Calvo KTM bike.
But the competition is strong and the title fight is far from over. Maverick goes into the British GP at Silverstone 14 points behind current championship leader Luis Salom and 14 points in front of 3rd ranking Alex Rins. Does he feel the pressure?
“Not at all to be honest. This second half of the season doesn’t really feel different from before. Maybe I do. I feel better, I’m fighting and am full of optimism and confidence. When I line up on the grid, the only thing I think about is the race at hand. That is the only thing I can really focus on. I don’t think of the season or the championship in that moment. We have to remain focused and take things step by step.”
There certainly isn’t any room for error or taking it easy. “It’s time to attack and win races” like Team Calvo manager Pablo Nieto says. But Maverick’s rivals aren’t going to just roll over and hand him the championship on a plate, he’ll have to fight for it. Asked if having Pablo as a team manager is a big help, Maverick replies,
“Yes certainly – Of course it helps a lot. He’s got lots of experience as a rider himself, he knows what it’s like. He keeps me focused. And he also helps with technical aspects and gives advice on my riding. For example he’ll look at parts of the circuit where my rivals do better than me.”
Viñales himself plays a similar role for his team mate Ana Carrasco. As most tracks on the racing calendar are completely unknown to her, Maverick tries to give her some tips and helps her find the right line out on track. Does it feel different to have a girl as team mate? Maverick chuckles and firmly assures that it doesn’t make any difference at all.
“No, not really. She’s just one of us.”
And just like his young companion, Maverick is looking forward to the race at the circuit of Silverstone:
“For me it’s a very good circuit. It’s very technical, it’s wide and it’s got a couple of fast corners. I like the circuit a lot. Ideally I would like it to stay sunny, but the weather doesn’t really make much difference. I also rode well here in the wet in previous years. So whatever the weather, I’ll be giving it my all.”
If the past races are anything to go by, Maverick himself and every other Moto3 rider will be fighting teeth and claws until the very last corner and over the finish line to score as many precious championship points as possible. And with equality of the top riders’ potential and bikes, paired with their sheer determination to win, we might even see the title decision go down to the wire at the last round in Valencia in November.
Interview: Michaela Genz
Photo: Gareth Bouch