Maverick Viñales’ debut podium at Le Mans at the weekend – and the Suzuki team’s first since Loris Capirossi in Brno all the way back in 2008 – is just payback to the Japanese firm for the hard work in preparing such a strong machine in only their second season back in the sport.
That’s the view of Ken Kawauchi, the firm’s technical manager, who says the performance of Viñales will help reinvigorate the team as they search for their maiden win with the new GSX-RR machine.
“We finally got this so awaited podium and we are all very happy, it is a result that pays back all the jobs we did and are doing, and is also something that gives us further hope. Maverick had some difficulties in finding a good feeling with his machine in previous days here at Le Mans, but finally we found some good solutions, which proved to be effective in allowing him to feel confident.
“His pace in the race was very good, and although we took benefit from a couple of crashes ahead, we are proud because his race was wise and consistent. This is what we were aiming for. We are working hard, this is a good reward, and I believe that if we continue to work hard we could soon aim for the victory.
“Unfortunately, Aleix had some more troubles, but he finished in sixth, which is a good result. The most important is that he is finding his confidence back and his last races were positive for him.”
For the full story on Maverick’s debut podium and the latest on what next for the youngster, see next Wednesday 11th May’s Motorcycle News.