Xavi Vierge battles to his best finish of the year in Japan as Isaac Viñales scores points in well-fought race
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge delivered a strong display today at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit to impressively clinch 11th place aboard the Tech3 designed Mistral 610. The 19-year-old began the 15th round fight from 18th on the grid and he undertook a rocket start to jump up five places and then close the opening lap in 13th.
From here, the confident Spanish rider quickly set into a formidable rhythm as he intended to carry on forcing his way through the highly competitive field. Due to his consistent lap times, the former CEV race winner was up to 11th at the midpoint and he continued to push before gaining one position a short distance later.
Vierge remained focused as he adapted his riding style to adjust to the dropping grip levels in the final stage of the GP and he eventually powered across the finish line in 11th to notably score his best result of the season. His performance at KYB’s home GP, the Tech3 suspension partners, marks a positive start to the triple back to back events and Vierge fully intends to seize another solid placement in next week’s Australian Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Isaac Vinales persevered and fought non-stop to seal a well-deserved point scoring finish in today’s 23-lap sprint. The Spaniard kicked off his campaign from 20th on the grid and bolted forward when the GP began as the sun beat down on the iconic track.
He was shuffled back two places on the typically frantic opening lap after being clipped by another rider, but remained firm and then started to move back up the field before claiming 18th at the end of the fifth lap. He continued his solid rhythm and by the halfway mark, he was inside the top fifteen as he dueled with Tetsuta Nagashima.
The distance dialed down and Vinales carried on forcefully battling against the Japanese rider right until the chequered flag, which he eventually met in 15th. After the confidence boosting display, the 22-year-old optimistically eyes up the Phillip Island race next week where he will aim to ride to another strong result.
“Today’s result was my best finish of the season so far and I am very happy with my performance. I almost ended up inside the top ten and I am sure that we can achieve this soon. The start of the weekend was tricky and we experienced a few issues on Friday, not only with the bike but also with me because my riding style needed some work. However, as soon as we started FP3 on Saturday, everything improved and I became more comfortable on the bike after adjusting myself. In qualifying, my final time could have been better, but the important thing was that my rhythm was solid and in the race, I ran a good pace before finally ending up in 11th. Thanks to the Tech3 Racing and KYB for their efforts, we have had a positive start to the flyaway races and I am looking forward to getting back on track at the Australian Grand Prix next week.”
“I am happy to begin the triple back to back Grand Prix’s in a positive way by finishing in the points today at the Japanese GP. Not long after the race started, I was clipped by Rins which caused me to lose a lot of time. Therefore, the first three laps were quite tough, but once I got into a solid rhythm, I was able to push on. This result is what we needed after the last few GP’s and now I am looking forward to the next round in Australia which is only a week away, and there I am sure that we can have another positive time aboard the Mistral 610.”