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's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021
The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022 Prime

The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022

The final pieces of the 2022 MotoGP rider market have yet to be finalised as Petronas SRT Yamaha faces several obstacles in replacing Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli. SRT’s preferred option has been locked into a KTM deal he doesn’t want, while its other target is managed by Rossi himself and wanted at his VR46 team.

MotoGP
Aug 10, 2021