Vinales “happy to struggle” in practice for race-win breakthrough

Maverick Vinales says he was “happy to struggle” in Friday practice for MotoGP’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as it led to the change in approach ahead of Sunday’s win.

Vinales “happy to struggle” in practice for race-win breakthrough

After fading dramatically after setting a record pole time in last weekend’s San Marino GP, Vinales found on Friday for the second Misano race that none of the improvements he made in the test on Tuesday had carried over.

As a result, he switched his focus to working more on improving his feeling with the front of his Yamaha in a race situation. Leading from pole in the opening lap, he maintained a comfortable second when Pramac’s Francesco Bagnaia overtook him on lap six, before a crash for the Ducati rider late on released Vinales to score his first win of 2020.

“Friday, I felt really bad, honestly,” said Vinales. “But somehow that situation gave us the opportunity to improve and to take us to the reality when the bike is on race setting. I was happy to be struggling on Friday because we improved a lot for Saturday and for Sunday, and I’m happy with the work the team is doing.

“Anyway, we need to keep the feet on the ground and understand we still need to improve more and more every race. But I’m very happy to be back on top.”

Read Also:

When asked by Motorsport.com where the improvements with the bike came, Vinales said: “We changed a lot the balance of the bike and I felt straight away much better under braking. I could take out all the potential we have on the bike for braking and corner speed. So, I increased the front confidence and I felt very good.

“I was very happy about [qualifying] yesterday because we did an exceptional lap, and today I can keep very consistent on the rhythm and especially at the start of the race I pushed quite hard to break the group and this is what remains in my head and makes me very happy.”

Vinales’ San Marino GP pace woes have been a recurring theme for him since he joined Yamaha, with a lack of grip on a full tank dropping him down the order early in races. He feels his Emilia Romagna race is proof to his doubters that his true pace has always been masked by the bike.

“It was good, especially because many people were doubting me a lot on Sunday,” he added. “Most of the people think it’s my mentality, but my mentality is exactly the same as the other weekends. I have that winning mentality and honestly, I didn’t find the confidence in the bike to push from the beginning.”

Vinales is now just one point off championship leader Andrea Dovizioso, but admits his primary focus is on improving the Yamaha for 2021 and not the title.

He added: “I don’t think too much about the championship, I think about enjoying myself, to enjoy myself on the bike and to push the bike at the maximum.

“We need to prepare the bike really well for next year and this year every race we are learning something, because it is very important to be attentive and to learn for the next races.”

shares
comments
Bagnaia adamant that crash from lead was caused by debris
Previous article

Bagnaia adamant that crash from lead was caused by debris

Next article

Rossi: I'm “not competitive enough” for MotoGP title bid

Rossi: I'm “not competitive enough” for MotoGP title bid
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021