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Maverick Viñales fought back from a poor start to finish sixth in today’s Mugello MotoGP™ race in Italy aboard his Team SUZUKI ECSTAR GSX-RR as team-mate Aleix Espargaró scored ninth.

Viñales, who started from the front-row in second position, lost nine places in the straight due to a problem with his machine’s electronics. The issue rectified itself immediately, but this cost him several positions, so he had to recover from there on-in. Being hard on tyres in overtaking, the grip-level dropped pretty quickly and although his lap-times were very close to the leader’s pace, he couldn’t score better than sixth position at the flag.

The GP of Italy was Aleix Espargaró’s 100th GP start; he had a brilliant launch from sixth on the grid to third into the first corner, but unfortunately, the crash he suffered in this morning’s warm-up destroyed his machine and his mechanics had to do extra work before the race to completely rebuild it for the race. The machine, however, didn’t give him the same positive feeling that he had experienced previously and this prevented him keeping the excellent pace he showed in the early laps.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“We have to say that we’re not satisfied with this race. It was exactly the opposite of France: at Le Mans we had a very hard weekend but we finally managed to find good solutions for the race and the result was positive; here, we felt we were performing and competitive from Friday, but then in the race we couldn’t finalise the result. Today’s track temperature was higher than yesterday, this made things harder to find rear grip; if it’s true that the conditions were different for all teams, it is also true that with higher temperatures, our machine struggles more to adapt than other teams – and this is one thing we have to work on. About Maverick’s start, we will investigate this in-depth to find out what happened. Also, Aleix’s race was not as good as we expected and we need to understand what went wrong in his machine. After here, we’ll go to Valencia for a private testing session as we have many items to test, so hopefully we will find solutions to these issues.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I’m very disappointed with the race, we did really well the whole weekend and finally we couldn’t get the deserved result. I really had the feeling we could fight for the podium; both in practice and in warm up I felt very comfortable and confident for a good race. Unfortunately, all the problems came from the start: I had a good jump, but then when it came to put it into fourth-gear something went wrong with the bike’s acceleration and this made me lose so many positions. Then the problem disappeared and everything was working fine for the rest of the race, but because I was behind so many riders, and I had to push very hard to recover, this destroyed the tyres, which were finally too-worn to get closer. It’s a shame because according to the timesheets my pace was as good as the leaders, so this meant that with a good start I could have fought for the podium, which I felt was achievable for us. It’s a pity, but now I need to revise the data with my engineers and understand what happened in order to fix it.

Aleix Espargaró:

“Unfortunately I made a very big mistake in the warm up, crashing the bike very badly and my crew had to work very hard to build it up from zero in such a short time and I am very grateful to them. But unfortunately, with the rebuilt bike, I didn’t feel the same confidence I had before, so I couldn’t push very hard. It’s a shame because in the warm up again we made a great step forward and I was feeling very confident. My start was good, my strategy indeed was to jump as fast as possible and gain as much as possible, but what I did wasn’t enough. Let’s hope for a better race in Barcelona, it’s my home circuit and I hope things will get better.”

Gran Premio d’Italia TIM Race Result:

1 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 41’36.535
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 41’36.554 + 0.019
3 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 41’41.277 + 4.742
4 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 41’41.445 + 4.910
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 41’42.791 + 6.256
6 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 41’45.205 + 8.670
7 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 41’49.875 + 13.340
8 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 41’51.133 + 14.598
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 41’55.178 + 18.643
10 Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 41’58.833 + 22.298