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Dont take ANY of my advice, EVER, when it comes to
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Discussion Starter #1

1 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki GSX-RR 1:29.131
2 93 Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 1:29.292 0.161 0.161
3 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha M1 1:29.357 0.226 0.065
4 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 1:29.404 0.273 0.047
5 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 1:29.671 0.540 0.267
6 8 Hector Barbera Ducati GP14.2 1:29.854 0.723 0.183
7 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati GP16 1:29.857 0.726 0.003
8 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda RC213V 1:29.917 0.786 0.060
9 45 Scott Redding Ducati GP15 1:29.941 0.810 0.024
10 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha M1 1:29.992 0.861 0.051

Was Viñales' lap just a fluke? Not according to the lap charts. Viñales finished ahead of Marc Márquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, less than three tenths separating the four of them. But Viñales' fastest lap was not a one-off. The young Suzuki rider had two laps faster than Márquez' best lap, and three laps better than the best of the two Movistar Yamaha men. In total, he had ten laps in the 1'29s, only Rossi having more, the Italian having lapped eleven times in the 1'29 bracket.

More impressive than that, though, was Viñales' consistency at the end of the day. Of his ten 1'29 laps, he did four of them in a row, one less again than Rossi. Neither Marc Márquez nor Jorge Lorenzo could string together more than two 1'29s. Viñales' average pace was stronger too, his ten sub-1'30 laps being run at an average lap time of 1:29.589, nearly two tenths faster than either Márquez, Lorenzo or Rossi. This was a shot across the bows for the rest of the field. Maverick Viñales was staking his claim to MotoGP Alien status. That status is not awarded after a single fast test. But his performance at Phillip Island makes him eligible for consideration, at least.

Premium Member
296 Posts
We'll have to wait and see. Being fast in testing and qualifying doesn't always translate to podiums or "alien" status come race time. Both Viñales and Aleix Espargaró qualified on the front row on last year's GSXRR, but neither was ever really a threat. In fact, Espargaró finished higher in most of the races. With a more powerful bike and a little more experience at that level, hopefully he can get in there and mix it up with the big four and prove himself. By all accounts he has the chops for it. and has earned a lot of praise from other riders.

I'd love to see Mav achieve alien status, and he's probably one of the most likely candidates to make that step at the moment. Hopefully Suzuki will come through for him this year, or he's going to end up somewhere else in 2017. He's got too much potential to just settle in the top 10.
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