MotoGP Qatar : MotoGP Results » Yamaha victory 'like being in a dream' says Vinales

Yamaha MotoGP Ducati Maverick Vinales Valentino Rossi Andrea Dovizioso Qatar 2017

Qatar GP 2017

1. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 38m 59.999s
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 39m 0.460s
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 39m 1.927s
4. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 39m 6.744s
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 39m 7.127s
6. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 39m 7.660s
7. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 39m 9.781s
8. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 39m 14.485s
9. Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 39m 14.787s
10. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 39m 15.068s
11. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 39m 20.515s
12. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 39m 21.254s
13. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 39m 28.827s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP15) 39m 29.122s
15. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 39m 29.469s
16. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 39m 33.600s
17. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 39m 39.703s
18. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 39m 47.130s
Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) DNF
Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Alvaro Bautista ESP Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP16) DNF
Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF

Blue Name = Rides for Factory Team.
Red Name = Rides for Satellite Team.
* Rookie

Maverick Vinales described his race-winning debut on the Movistar Yamaha as like 'being in a dream' after sealing victory in the delayed opening MotoGP race of 2017 in Qatar.

Vinales got the better of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso during a battle on the final laps to secure a stunning win on the factory YZR-M1 as he lived up to his impressive form in the winter tests.

The 22-year-old had to cope with the extra pressure of being touted as the favourite for victory at the Losail International Circuit and Vinales rode an excellent as he came through to challenge Dovizioso, winning by four tenths at the finish with team-mate Valentino Rossi completing the podium places.

There was uncertainty over whether or not the race would take place after rain began to fall but after a short delay, the circuit dried out and the race went ahead.
“I'm so satisfied and the team did a great job. I was keeping the bike all the time in the best set-up and honestly I started good; I arrived second in the first corner and then appeared [Johann] Zarco and I needed to pick up the bike because if not, we crash,” he said.

“Then Marc [Marquez] and Dovi overtook me and the track was quite slippery. I couldn't make my own speed in the corners because it was difficult to turn the bike. I went out of the track at one time in a fast corner, so it was quite difficult in the early laps.

“Then I tried to be concentrated and have a good rhythm. Step by step I recovered the concentration and the confidence and finally when I arrived to Marc, I said now is the time to push, to catch Dovi and see what happens. Finally we did a great battle and I'm so pleased with the Yamaha and I say thank you to the team because they did a great job,” he added.

“I know if I didn't pull a little bit [Dovi] was going to pass me because he was so fast in the straights and also in some sectors Andrea was really fast, so he was gaining some tenths there. I was just trying to be smooth and on my best laps at the end and finally we did it. It is so great, like being in a dream with the Yamaha pole and a win and I cannot ask for more.”

Vinales said it was no surprise to see Rossi on the rostrum and revealed he even predicted his team-mate would make it into the top three.

“I was telling in the press conference that Valentino, in the race always improve and he can be there. I didn't take him out of the battle because on Sunday he improves so much and for the next races, I know I have to work even more on Friday and Saturday,” he said.

“I am happy also for him because it is not easy doing all the pre-season not doing your best but finally in the race you can do your best and you feel good: that's nice, it's nice to see two Yamahas on the podium. I predicted to one journalist Maverick, Dovi and Ross, so I win this!”

Vinales praised early race leader and MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco, who was pulling clear at the front on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha when he slid out of contention.

“If I take out the first corner, because he nearly hit me, it was okay,” said Vinales of Zarco's premier class debut. “He was really fast, quite impressive, and he was pulling so much and did the fastest lap of the race I think. I didn't understand at that time because I was suffering so much and sliding all the time. I saw him doing well and congratulations because it is not easy starting like this.

“He can make a mistake, he's a rookie, but he was leading the race, making fast laps, so congratulations and he can continue like this, so he is in a good way for sure.”

Vinales also dismissed the notion that new Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo could be counted out of the championship equation already after the triple MotoGP champion finished 11th on his race debut on the Desmosedici GP17.

“No, because still there are many races and there can be mistakes, still he can improve so much, he can find the right set-up and find the way. When Lorenzo is motivated and on his pace it is difficult to beat him and he still can be there. It is just the first race so for sure I don't take him out of the chance to win the championship.”

Looking ahead to the next round in Argentina in two weeks' time, Vinales said he was looking forward to riding at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, where he says he has 'always been fast'.

“I hope [weather is better in Argentina] because I was so nervous at the start; rain, then no rain, and then we go out of the track when we arrived at corner 14, which was completely wet. It was quite difficult on the first laps to get concentrated but I hope in Argentina we have good weather, we can work on the bike and put in many laps,” he said.

“Argentina is a track where I am always fast and with the Suzuki I was close to the podium, so I feel great there and I will try to be in the best mode I can be.”

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