Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales believes he can become the first MotoGP rider to beat Marc Marquez in Austin during this weekend’s third round of the championship.
The Circuit of the Americas joined the MotoGP calendar in Marquez’s rookie year, 2013, and the Spaniard has since won all four races from pole position.
Vinales finished ninth and fourth in Austin in his two seasons with Suzuki, and having won the first two races of his Yamaha career in Qatar and Argentina, the Catalan feels he is well equipped to end Marquez’s run.
“I know Marc is really good there but also it’s one of my favourite tracks,” he said. “It’s one of the tracks that I’m normally fast.
“We’re going to try to go there with the same mentality as [Argentina]; try to make a good set-up, we know we have a competitive bike, we only have to know the way how to go fast.
“I think it’s possible. We’re going to to work hard, Texas is a really good track for me, always feeling really good [with the] changes of direction, fast corners, hard braking. I’m quite confident we can do a good result.”
Marquez wants podium to regain “stability”
Marquez has endured a difficult start to his title defence, finishing a distant fourth in Qatar and then crashing out of the lead in Argentina.
It means the Honda rider lies eighth in the riders’ standings on 13 points, 37 adrift of Vinales, and the reigning champion admits he needs at least a podium in Austin to regain “a bit of stability”.
“I want to get a good result and Texas is a circuit that I like,” said Marquez. “I’m not even talking about winning, but about fighting for the first podium of the year.
“We need a bit of stability because Vinales has won twice already and Valentino has been on the podium twice. Both Yamahas appear to be very competitive.
“If there’s a chance of winning in Austin, I will try, but we have to understand if it’s possible. We must learn from the error in Argentina.
“We’ll see when we get there, but I insist that a podium finish would be ideal to regain some stability.”
Source : MotorSport