The Spaniard gave his country their first podium in more than three years, whilst coming into the title fight for fifth overall.
After a season that has seen flashes of brilliance, Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) took his first career podium in World Supersport, missing out on the win in a last lap battle with home hero, Lucas Mahias. The Spaniard, who had achieved a previous best result of fourth, coming at the Chang International Circuit, ended a run of three races with no points to announce himself as a victory contender in the closing two rounds in Argentina and Qatar.
Viñales led parts of the Magny-Cours race, including the final lap, where he resisted Lucas Mahias’ onslaught until Turn 13, when the Frenchman carved his way through to the roar of the French fans. Viñales tried to out-smart the 2017 champion in the closing stages but it proved too difficult, and he would have to settle for second.
Celebrating his first WorldSSP podium, Viñales said of his delight: “I am happy with the podium, the race had a lot of crashes, so I am glad to get to the end. It was a though weekend because it was all Friday and Saturday between tricky conditions, but we did a very good Warm up and then in the race we got the pace to be in front and fight for it. So, I am happy with this hard-earnt podium!”
Viñales’ podium consolidates his ninth place in the championship, a solid rookie season by all accounts. He is just three points behind fellow Yamaha rider, Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) and can mathematically still challenge Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) for a top five overall.
The podium for Viñales meant that it was the first for Spain in World Supersport since Nico Terol was third at MotorLand Aragon back in 2016. It is Spain’s 35th podium in the class, consolidating their sixth place in the overall podium standings by nation in WorldSSP.
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