Xavi Vierge takes eighth and Isaac Viñales tenth in Malaysian Grand Prix
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a superb display today at the Malaysian Grand Prix to record his career best result in the intermediate class after storming from 25th to 8th aboard the Mistral 610. The young Spaniard kicked off his day by surging to 4th in the morning warm up where the track was mainly dry albeit with some wet patches on the asphalt.
This performance left the 19-year-old confident for the race, which he began from the ninth row of the grid after a tricky qualifying. Nevertheless, Vierge bolted forwards when the lights went out as the rain lashed down, and he ended the opening lap in 20th, having leapt up five places. The Tech3 rider quickly started riding a formidable and consistent rhythm, which resulted in him notably moving up nine positions by the close of the sixth lap.
He continued his hot pace and then overtook the former 2016 title contender Alex Rins on the 11th lap. With only a short distance remaining, the ever-improving Spaniard was running in 8th and he determinedly pushed onwards before shooting across the finish line in this placement having overtaken a total of 17 riders.
The incredible perseverance of the 19 year old sees him complete the flyaway races in a highly positive manner and now Vierge looks on to the season finale in Valencia with utmost confidence.
On the other hand, Isaac Viñales powered through the rain to complete the round 17 battle in 10th after delivering an expertly calculated ride today at Sepang. The intermediate class rookie commenced the sprint from the seventh row of the grid and he concluded the first lap in 26th having slipped back seven places.
Yet, he focused and immediately began his recovery charge as his solid pace allowed him clinch 17th with one-third of the race having passed and he muscled his way back into the top fifteen at just over the mid way point of the event. In the last section of the GP, Viñales was heavily involved in the fierce pack of five fighting for ninth and he moved into the lead of the group on lap 17.
The Spaniard swapped positions several times but he produced the 6th fastest time of the race on his last lap to notably seize 10th at the chequered flag, having moved up nine places from his grid placement.
The strong result leaves the Tech3 rider fired up for the final Grand Prix of the season in his home country in two weeks’ time.
“I am very happy with today’s race result. Yesterday in the qualifying, things were tricky and after a tough session where I fell after being touched by Marini and also where we had some traction issues when I got back on track, I was only able to qualify in 25th. However, the team and I amended the situation and as a result, I rode a good lap time with both the slick and wet tyres in the morning warm up where I finished in 4th. In the race, I believed in myself and the bike plus, I never gave up when I tried to pass other riders. Eventually, I ended up in 8th which is vital because there is now only one point between me and Luca Marini for the rookie of the year title. We will continue this battle in Valencia, but I have to say thanks to the team for their work and I look forward to getting back on the Mistral 610 soon.”
“I am pleased with my performance today where I clinched my second top ten finish of the season aboard the Mistral 610 and I feel that I deserve this because I pushed hard in what was a challenging race where there was a lot of rain. After the beginning of the GP, it took me a few laps to get up to speed, however, once I was in a good rhythm, I caught a lot riders and eventually, I concluded the fight in 10th which I am happy about. The outcome marks a positive end to the flyaway GP’s for me, and now I am looking forward to getting back on the track in Valencia, after a short break, where I aim to close the year with another point scoring result.”