When news first emerged that Paris Hilton was getting into the Grand Prix racing business, the response from fans of the motorcycle racing ranged from utter disdain to hope that the celebutante’s involvement would raise the profile of the sport.
Whether you dread the image of a sparkly pink carbon fiber fairing or welcome any infusion of funding and support for racing, the one thought that may not have crossed your mind was “what if the team turns out to be pretty good?”
Based on the results of a recent 125cc Grand Prix pre-season test, that might be the case. Maverick Viñales of the SuperMartxe VIP by Paris Hilton team had the second fastest laptime from the three-day test at Spain’s Valencia circuit, just 0.1 seconds behind the leader Nico Terol of Bancaja Aspar. In fact, Viñales was fast on all three days, placing in the top three on the timesheet each day.
Viñales’ teammate Sergio Gadea was no slouch either. Gadea was in the top ten of the 18 total participants on all three days, including fourth on the first day of testing.
Gadea is entering his ninth season of Grand Prix racing and has 15 podium appearances and three wins in the 125cc class and another podium finish in Moto2.
Viñales on the other hand is a rookie, but a rookie with a winning resume. In 2010, Viñales (pictured above with the #25 Aprilia RSA 125) won the European Championship and the Spanish CEV title in the 125cc class, and early indications are he may be a title contender.
It doesn’t hurt either that the team is run by the BQR Racing team with help from Valentino Rossi’s former crew chief Rossano Brazzi.
Don’t be surprised if a certain sparkly pink race bike shows up in the winner circle a couple times this season.