Xavi Vierge and Isaac Viñales fight all the way to the finish flag in challenging Austrian GP
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a tireless display in Austria to conclude the 10th round of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship in 16th after impressively overtaking eleven riders in the highly competitive Grand Prix.
The 19-year-old kicked off his campaign from the ninth row but undertook a strong start to move up seven positions by the second lap. From here, he quickly set into his race pace as he looked to climb further through the field and at the midway point, the Spaniard was locked in a battle with four other riders and running in 18th after consistently making progress. On lap 15, he shouldered past his teammate to clinch 17th and then set his sights on the rider in front.
Vierge remained focused and after closing in on Luca Marini, he surged past with five laps left to run. The pair exchanged passes all the way to the finish line, with the Tech3 Racing Team rider expertly winning the fight to complete the Austrian Grand Prix in 16th.
Meanwhile, Isaac Viñales fought the physically demanding circuit and produced a solid effort during the 25 lap sprint to bring his Mistral 610 home in 18th position. The intermediate class rookie leapt forward from the head of the ninth row after a tricky qualifying session and jumped up two places during the opening lap.
He then set into a consistent rhythm and his hard work paid off as he moved up to 16th by just under the halfway point whilst he fought in the pack of five with his teammate. As the race enter the final stages, the fight grew more intense, with the Tech3 rider locked in a dice with Remy Gardner. Yet, the Spaniard stayed resolute and powered past Gardner on the last lap, to finish two places behind his teammate.
“I am very happy with today’s result, even though it was a shame to just miss out on the points. However, the most important thing is that the feeling that I had with the Mistral 610 during the Grand Prix was great. I felt really positive and my rhythm was so close to the group inside the top 15 which shows we’ve made a good step. Yesterday wasn’t the best day because my lap time in qualifying was not as quick as it should have been and so, I started from the back of the ninth row which made it tricky to reclaim positions. However, I pushed throughout the GP and eventually I clinched 16th after a good fight with Marini, Pons, and my teammate. It was important to finish at the front of this group and tomorrow we have a test where we will continue to improve. Thank you to the Tech3 Racing Team and KYB for the perfect work.”
“I am pleased with my performance today and for the whole race I pushed non-stop and fought as hard as I could. It was a challenging GP and also demanding because of the track and also the group that I was fighting in. Furthermore, I also lost my knee slider which didn’t make things easier. However, I never gave up and another big positive is that my quickest lap today was faster than my qualifying time by nearly three-tenths of a second. The battle was tough but I am pleased and we will go to Brno feeling positive, after the test tomorrow in Austria.”