Jerez de la Frontera, July 24, 2020: Before track action begins at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia, seven riders took a seat in the pre-event press conference. Joining MotoGP race winner Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Moto3 Championship leader Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team Moto3) as they digested the previous weekend of racing, as well as looked ahead to the second Jerez helping.
Second-place Spanish GP finisher Vinales was outspoken about how close the competition will be this weekend as the riders attack Jerez for the second time in a row. "We knew it. Here in Jerez most of the riders have a lot of experience, all the manufactures have many laps and we came from a test. Everyone is fast here," explained Vinales, with the competition only going to improve with the data gathered last weekend.
"That's why it was important to start on the first places, pushing and trying to make a gap at the beginning because in the last laps there are many riders that can go fast. There are many manufactures that can win the race but still we need to improve and be ready for this second race."
And, of course, Quartararo won't be satisfied with just the one race victory. The Frenchman admitted after the initial celebrations, he and his team were already discussing what they could improve.
"It was an amazing feeling. I didn't really have the pressure of winning my first race but as soon as I won, I felt like I'd taken some pressure off me. This is really positive but in the end the first thing that I did after the photos and everything was to have a briefing with my team to ty to improve even more, try to find some small details to make even more of a difference and we'll try to do our best again this weekend."
One of those chasing Vinales hard in the opening race of 2020 was Miller. The Australian finished agonisingly close to the podium and admits if he can sort the final sector out -- as well as his hand troubles that he faced in the latter half of the race -- he'll be able to fight for P3, P2 and even P1 on Sunday. "Yeah, the race was as to be expected. Like the boys said, seven months off we all knew it was going to be off. Struggles with feeling on the hand, I think it was more to do with the position on the handlebar. Here is a lot of right-hand corners where you're hanging out the side," began Miller.
"I lost a bit of motion in my wrist towards the end of the race, I wasn't able to be as smooth and I let a few blokes past. I mean, the beauty as they said is to be back here again, take two, body was a bit stiff on Monday. Had a few days to recover and try to work on what we struggled on last weekend which seemed to be the last sector and try again on Sunday."
Fellow Ducati man and podium finisher Dovizioso also sounded confident he and the team can improve this weekend, as he looks forward to trying a different setting. "It was really hard last weekend, especially in the race. I was struggling and I couldn't write the way I wanted. It was very physical for me from the beginning to the end. To finish on the podium was very important for the championship, being in Jerez.
"I'm happy to be here again because after four days you're able to work on some details, after you do the race and that is the best way to work on the bike. We analysed a lot of things, we have a lot of ideas, let's see if that will work because it's what we need; to make a step on our speed, so let's focus on that."
All the action from the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andaluc?a will be live on Eurosport SD and Eurosport HD with the Qualifying Race on Saturday from 4:00 PM IST followed by the main race on Sunday from 2:30 PM IST.