Viñales rates 2015 and his rivals

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Suzuki Racing’s Maverick Viñales has rated his 2015 performances and his rivals, sitting down to give his thoughts not only on his own performances throughout his rookie season in the Grand Prix class but also those of his rivals – and what he can learn from them.

Set to become one of the hottest properties in MotoGP as next year’s silly season gets underway, the highly rated youngster’s thoughts and views offer a surprising insight into exactly who he thinks performed well in 2015.

Hot laps
“I think Marc Marquez is the fastest over a single lap. It’s really amazing to see the ability he has to make the most of his opportunities. We believe that throughout the year, with qualifying tyres, we have been able to do well – as seen at the Circuit de Catalunya Barcelona.”

“Possibly Jorge Lorenzo. He is very consistent and demonstrated that every weekend in 2015, from the first free practice session through to Sunday: He is able to put in the same pace for the entire race, and that is not easy.”

“I think that’s definitely Jorge again. In my opinion, he is not the best braker on the grid – he doesn’t brake especially late – but it is amazing how he handles the throttle and cornering.”

“Marc has the ability to brake very, very late, and goes into corners smoothly.”

“There are two teachers who are specialists in that: Marc and Vale.”

In the wet
“I’ll go with Yonny Hernandez for that”.

“This is the subject for Dani Pedrosa, who always starts well. It does not matter what position he starts from on the grid – in the first few metres he always gains positions.”

Qualifying tyres
“Aleix Espargaro knows how to get a lot out of these tyres, and also Iannone and Petrucci. But as I said, over one lap, Marc Marquez is the most effective and the quickest of them all.”

Managing tyres in the race
“Dani and Jorge. Marquez and Vale are more aggressive and wear out the tyres more. I think I’m also pretty good at this subject. At the end of a Grand Prix I am one of the riders whose tyres are in the best shape, and who can ride fastest on the last laps.”

The best reference
“For me, the best rider to follow is Marc. We have a very similar riding style and whenever he is ahead of me things work out well. Of anyone in the history of the World Championship, I would have liked to follow number 34, the legendary Kevin Schwantz.”

Most comfortable rider to follow
“My teammate, Aleix. He has the same bike as me, so it has the same power. In addition, we take similar lines.”

Hardest rider to follow
“This year I struggled to follow the Yamahas of Rossi and Lorenzo, but also Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. They do not brake very late, but have great cornering.”

Areas to improve
“Above all my starts and my opening laps. I think this is where I have the most room for improvement.”

Area where you’ve done best
“The end of the races. I would say the management of my tyres.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer