Maverick Viñales 6th in #QatarGP Sprint, Aleix Espargaro DNF
In the spectacular setting of the revamped Losail circuit, the MotoGP Sprint Race had Maverick as the best Aprilia – sixth across the line – after a long chase behind Bagnaia. Aleix, on the other hand, was involved in a crash in the early stages of the race which left him in pain. The subsequent medical checks showed a small fracture at the top of the left fibula which will be reassessed tomorrow morning after a night of rest.
In the race tomorrow, Maverick will start from the second spot on the third row which he earned in qualifying. On the other hand, if he participates, Aleix will be penalised six positions, so he’ll have to start from the sixth row.
A good Sprint Race, although I had hoped to be able to have a go with Bagnaia. We actually had a very similar pace, but by spending the entire race behind him, I was able to figure out which aspects of the RS-GP need to be improved. Once again, starting from behind cost me a lot of time in the early laps – another area where we need to improve in 2024 because it conditions the end result a great deal. In any case, I felt good in the saddle and I believe that I obtained the maximum possible. Tomorrow we’ll see if and how things will change with twice as many laps and even more crucial tyre management.