Vinales feels “Yamaha is back” after Qatar MotoGP win

Qatar Grand Prix winner Maverick Vinales believes Yamaha “is back” to its full potential following his commanding victory in the 2021 MotoGP season-opener.

Vinales feels “Yamaha is back” after Qatar MotoGP win

Despite dropping to sixth as a quartet of Ducatis rocketed to the front at the start of the 22-lap race, Vinales rallied to fight his way through to the front of the pack by the 15th tour.

From there, he opened up a gap of over a second to come under no threat through to the chequered flag for his ninth MotoGP victory.

Vinales concedes Yamaha needs to take a step forward on race starts, but feels the 2021 M1 has returned to him the strong feeling he used to have on the bike.

"It's something we are repeating and repeating and I'm trying to start every practice to at least the best Yamaha," he said.

"Anyway, next race we're going to try to make an improvement, it's very important.

"And for the rest of the season for sure, Yamaha is working very hard to bring a device to start better.

"But you know, the good point is that when I ride the bike I feel the Yamaha is back.

"I mean the potential I had in the Yamaha in the past is back and this is very important and I don't know if it's the track or the condition or whatever but I felt like the power of the Yamaha bike was that and this is very important for us.

"The corner speed, the turning and this is this is very important for us to have in the pocket because to fight the Suzuki or the other manufacturers we need to have this kind of corner speed."

The Yamaha has typically struggled to overtake in recent years because of its power deficit to its rivals, but Vinales feels the way the 2021 M1 turns has allowed him to be more aggressive in areas of the track where the bike is strongest.

"For sure, we changed a little bit the mentality," he added.

"We needed to be stronger in overtaking, it was something we were missing last year because I felt we had a great potential, very good rhythm.

"But I was stuck in many ways in the race, so I wasn't able to overtake.

"But I said here in Qatar I have many points where we are fast, and still we need to understand how to overtake in other ones.

"But overall I think we worked well this winter, we prepared the bike to at least be faster on the change of direction to put the bike in because our bike is turning.

"So, I can turn with a lot of speed and this brings me the opportunity. But overall I was much more aggressive than in the previous races.

"We need to keep going like this, we have nothing to lose. We need to push and push. This is the only way."

shares
comments

Related video

Qatar MotoGP: Vinales passes Ducati quartet to win

Previous article

Qatar MotoGP: Vinales passes Ducati quartet to win

Next article

Ducati's Miller “hit a wall” with tyres in Qatar

Ducati's Miller “hit a wall” with tyres in Qatar
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Drivers Maverick Viñales
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021
Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought? Prime

Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought?

It is over three-and-a-half years since the Italian national anthem rang out to declare a Valentino Rossi victory in MotoGP. To some onlookers his move out of the factory Yamaha squad meant the 2017 Dutch TT could remain his final win, but after an encouraging transition at Petronas SRT hope is far from lost

MotoGP
Mar 19, 2021