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Vinales eyes redemption in French MotoGP

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Maverick Vinales

Bengaluru, May 17: With the battlelines drawn for the French Grand Prix, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales, who was the winner at the historic Le Mans Circuit Bugatti last year, is high on confidence.

The Spaniard has fond memories of the Le Mans track as the French circuit proved to be a winning formula last year, when the youngster secured Yamaha its 500th Grand Prix win.

In 2016, Vinales had secured a third-place in the French GP and and has now set his heart set on making it a podium hat-trick this Sunday (May 20).

"I'm heading to Le Mans with a positive mindset. I've really good memories from my victory on the Yamaha last year, so hopefully I'll be able to repeat the success I had there," said Vinales, who with 50 points, is currently third in FIM MotoGP World Championship standings, 20 behind runaway leader and Honda's world champion Marc Marquez and just eight adrift of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco.

Vinales and his team had two successful tests recently - one in Jerez immediately after the chaotic Spanish GP and the other in Mugello, Italy, where his YZR-M1 was put to good use.

After the recent positive tests, Vinales approaches the competition in Le Mans with a positive mindset and he will be giving his all to bridge the gap with the top two in the standings.

"The race in Jerez was very difficult for me. Fortunately, the tests were good. I'm very close to finding the perfect set-up for me.

"Le Mans is a good track for us, it suits my riding style, and I think we can do a really good job. We'll do our best to be at the top of the classification," Vinales added.

The Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965 and is situated just a few kilometres from the city of Le Mans. MotoGP made its first visit to the iconic French track in the late sixties and it remained a fixture until 1996.

After some safety moderations, the 4.2km-long circuit was added back on the calendar in 2000. Its lay-out of five left and nine right corners places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration, and rear-end traction, and promises to make for a great spectacle on Sunday.

(With Yamaha MotoGP inputs)

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    Story first published: Thursday, May 17, 2018, 12:21 [IST]
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