Xavi Vierge 12th in Valencia and Rookie of the Year, DNF for Isaac Viñales
Xavi Vierge rounded out the 2016 season with a strong run to 12th in the grand finale which saw him conclude the year as the top rookie in the fiercely competitive intermediate class.
The 19-year-old commenced the race from the seventh row of the grid and he leapt up five places by the third lap before immediately setting into a positive rhythm. After ten laps, he remained in 14th, but he carried on pushing as he lapped at a consistent and formidable pace.
Then, Miguel Oliveira, one of the challengers for the Rookie of the Year title, attempted to close in on Vierge, but the Spaniard showed amazing determination to hold off the pursuing rider.
The distance dialled down and the Tech3 Racing Team rider expertly held his nerve to power across the finish line in 12th which marks a highly positive close to what has been an impressive 2016 campaign aboard the Mistral 610.
Isaac Viñales suffered a contrasting fortune to his teammate after he endured a tough final race for the Tech3 Racing Team where he retired from the sprint on the eleventh lap.
The 22-year-old kicked off his last Grand Prix aboard the Mistral 610 from the tenth row of the grid, and after a solid start, he muscled his way up two places by the beginning of lap two. Yet, shortly after, he encountered grip issues which forced him to pit, closing his time with the team in an unfortunate way.
“I am delighted with my performance in the last event of the season and it’s super to end the year as the top rookie. We commenced the weekend well, but yesterday afternoon and also in the warm-up this morning, we had an issue with the braking. However, before the start of the GP, the team made some changes and then in the race, everything was perfect and the Mistral was great fun to ride. I pushed to the limit throughout the sprint, but the last part of the Grand Prix, in particular, was tough because Oliveira caught me by a tenth of a second in every lap. Yet, in the final five laps, I rode as hard as I could and it’s great to finish in 12th and as the Rookie of the Year. Thank you so much to the Tech3 Racing Team, my family and also my sponsors who have all supported me, I am really happy with how this racing year has ended.”
“My final race with the Tech3 Racing Team did not go the way I wanted it to and it’s a massive pity to finish my time with the crew like this. I had an issue with the grip and there was a lack of traction with the rear tyre, so unfortunately, I slipped down the order in the race because of this. In the end, I thought it was better to enter the pit box and retire. Again, it’s a pity to end the season in this manner, but thanks to the Tech3 Racing Team for their work this year.”