Vinales “not thinking about” MotoGP championship at Aragon

Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales insists he’s “not thinking about the championship” at the Aragon MotoGP, despite topping both practice sessions on Friday.

Vinales “not thinking about” MotoGP championship at Aragon
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After finishing 10th last time out at Le Mans, Vinales trails Yamaha counterpart Fabio Quartararo by 19 points in fourth in the standings ahead of this weekend’s 10th round of the 2020 season.

Vinales was fastest in both practices at Aragon on Friday, leading the field by 0.249 seconds, with Quartararo and his Petronas SRT team-mate Franco Morbidelli shadowing him on the timesheets. Though only 38 points adrift in the standings, Morbidelli is currently an outsider in this title battle and tempered his own expectations about fighting for the championship after emerging from the Catalan GP last month with a sizable speed deficit to the other Yamahas.

Showing strong dry pace on Friday, and having had pace for victory in the dry at Le Mans, Morbidelli looks set to be a major factor in Sunday’s race. But Vinales isn’t worried about the threat this could pose and is instead more focused on trying to improve the M1’s tyre preservation for the final 10 laps of the race.

“I think Franco is doing well and he will make his own race and he will push a lot like I will push a lot,” Vinales said when asked by if Morbidelli not having a stake in the title fight currently could be problematic in the race. “I’m not thinking about the championship, I’m just thinking about this race, to take out the maximum.

“For sure, we see the lap times and Franco is pretty strong. For sure he will be there. We need to control the last 10 laps, because last year I suffered a lot the last 10 laps and we will work on that tomorrow.”

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Morbidelli says he’d be able to fight for victory if the race was on Saturday, but notes qualifying has to go better than it did at Le Mans after a mystifying issue on his second soft tyre left him in 11th.

When asked by if his championship situation makes him a big threat for the win, Morbidelli replied: “We will have to see how the pace is going to be and how the various levels will develop over the weekend. But [it] looks like if the race was tomorrow I’d be able to fight for the win.

“Hopefully we’re going to have a smooth qualifying, which is what we were missing at Le Mans because also at Le Mans we had pace to win in the dry. Hopefully everything is going to work out well tomorrow and we will see what we can aim for tomorrow evening.”

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