Maverick Vinales is aiming to mark his MotoGP debut with Suzuki by scoring points in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Qatar. The Spanish Moto2 graduate has taken a careful and cautious approach during winter testing and hopes to reap the benefits when the competitive action begins this weekend.
“During the previous test in Qatar we have worked very well with the hard-tyre in order to get ready for the race. For sure we still have lots of room for improvement and we will try something new also in free practice tomorrow. Right now the time is short and the race weekend is very different from testing, but I feel enthusiastic in facing my competitors for the first time. In free practice we will mainly work to find a good pace, while we will work on a single fast-lap more in qualifying to gain the best position available.”
“We have time to improve, now I have to get experience on the machine to understand the new class and new competitors, plus the MotoGP qualifying procedure is new for me. Therefore for this race my objective is to get into the points and to be as competitive as I can without compromising the development job we still have to do. We are making steps of improvement each time we ride, so I have a good feeling about our potential.”
Showing the added maturity which served him so well in the intermediate class last year, Vinales is mindful that he can’t expect spectacular results too soon and is ready for the learning curve that lies in store.
“Right now we can’t aim to win and we have to be realistic and to keep on with the approach plan that we have embarked upon. To me this will be a debut. I’m pretty young, but I have a strong team behind me so right now I’m not scared at all of this new adventure as I feel confident and excited to test my machine’s and my own capabilities in the races.”