Maverick Viñales makes excellent Moto2 race debut, finishing 5th
The debut of Pons HP 40 rider Maverick Viñales in the first race of the 2014 season, which was held under the floodlights at the Losail circuit in Qatar, was exceptional.
Viñales ran off track during the first lap after contact with his teammate and he found himself having to multiply his efforts in order to regain some positions. After the first of twenty laps Maverick was in sixteenth place.
He then put all his focus onto riding at a constant great pace which allowed him to claw back position after position until, with two laps to go, getting embroiled in a battle with Simone Corsi for fourth place.
While chasing down his rivals, Maverick broke the circuit record, up to that point held by Marc Marquez, by more than half a second. Having overtaken Corsi, it was not possible for Maverick to get past Thomas Luthi. In the end he finished in fifth place, three tenths behind the Swiss rider.
Maverick’s teammate in the Pons HP 40 team, Luis Salom, had a problematic race. He ran off track twice and had to start his comeback attempts from position 28, finishing in fifteenth place and therefore saving one point. The rider from Mallorca continued to suffer from chattering which first proved to be a problem on Thursday.
Maverick Viñales – 5th place
We worked hard this weekend. I’m very happy and I’d like to thank the team because they did some tweaks during warm-up to give me a bike that made me very competitive. The start was a pain and this prevented me from fighting for the win. But I’m leaving Qatar very content because I really enjoyed this race. All riders are really fast here and the race was great fun.
Luis Salom -15th place
I touched with Maverick in corner six, and I ran off track. I lost a lot of time and when I tried to make up positions, I came of the line again and I had to run wide onto the dirty part of the track to avoid crashing. My pace during the race was slower than during warm-up. There was a lot of chattering and I could not push any harder as I was close to crashing a couple of times. We have to achieve an improvement for Austin.
Source: Pons Racing