Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Wednesday September 23rd 2015
Top Gun Maverick Viñales blasts over MotorLand skies
Maverick Viñales emulated his namesake as he took to the skies in an F18 ahead of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon.
Children dream of being MotoGP™ riders and fighter pilots, the thrill and sense of danger from racing around at high speeds capturing minds around the world. Ahead of the Aragon GP Maverick Viñales had an aerial baptism as he swapped his GSX-RR for the F-18, capable of reaching over 2,100 kilometers per hour.
Viñales arrived at Zaragoza air base on a Suzuki superbike, but even the power of this would soon pale in comparison to the F-18. Captain J. Barcala briefed Viñales for over an hour, teaching him the ins and outs of how to cope with the extreme G-forces produced by a fighter jet. The Suzuki rider was given extra tips by the ALA-15 Unit who welcomed the MotoGP™ star as one of their own.
Then it was time to take to the skies in the F-18 with ALA-15. A one-hour flight was filled with acrobatics and combat simulations before a trip to the Aragon MotorLand circuit. The drive from Zaragoza to Aragon usually takes a little over an hour and a half, but in the F-18 took a little under ten minutes. Mechanics are used to the roar of 1000cc MotoGP™ machines, but even they found themselves stepping away from setup to look towards the skies, snapping some photos of Viñales in his F-18.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Viñales, even after years of racing the most advanced motorcycles in the world at breakneck speeds, had to make use of the inflight sick bags. “It was the best experience of my life, nothing can compare to this even when I was World Champion in Moto3™. It’s a really unique experience and nothing else compares, it’s a once in a lifetime thing. I feel very privileged to have received this wonderful experience.”
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