Vinales: Perfect start to 2017 “difficult to believe”

Maverick Vinales admits he found it “difficult to believe” he could start his Yamaha MotoGP career with two straight victories, despite dominating winter testing.

Vinales: Perfect start to 2017 “difficult to believe”
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Race winner Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Podium: Second place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Race winner Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Crutchow
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Race winner Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Race winner Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing

The Spanish rider added a second win to his Yamaha resume – his third in the premier class – on Sunday in Argentina, as he took advantage of a crash from early leader Marc Marquez to win by three seconds.

Vinales has opened up his advantage at the head of the riders’ standings to 14 over teammate Valentino Rossi, who beat Cal Crutchlow to finish second in the Rio de Termas Hondo race.

Although he topped every test of the pre-season, starting with his Yamaha debut last November at Valencia, Vinales said he still found it hard to imagine himself kicking off the year with two wins.

“It’s difficult to believe you can start like this,” said the 22-year-old, who became the first Yamaha rider to win the first two races of the season since Wayne Rainey in 1990.

“For sure if somebody told me [last year] that I would win that race in Argentina, I would say nearly impossible. From three races I did here I crashed in two.

“Two victories in a row is something incredible, gives us a high motivation. We have to keep on the right way, that motivation and still working really hard.

“We are in a good moment, I am feeling good. I could give my 100 percent; when I can ride how I want, I can do a good rhythm.

“For the next races we have to continue like that. The team is really motivated, I’m motivated, Yamaha has done a great performance now. Race by race I feel stronger, I’m so happy and pleased.”

While Vinales dominated for much of the Argentina race, he still had to make his way from sixth on the grid after a wet qualifying, passing Crutchlow for second place on the third lap.

The Yamaha rider said he pushed at “100 percent” to close the gap to Marquez, before the Repsol Honda rider crashed out on the next lap.

“The start was not so bad, I found my way to overtake some riders as fast as I could,” Vinales recalled. “Finally I could arrive back with Cal, it was so difficult to overtake Cal, Cal is a really good braker.

“Then once I overtook Cal, I thought I had to catch Marc because he was going so fast. I was pushing my 100 percent, after I just tried to make my own pace.

“The pace I made in the warm-up, I just made the same, the same laps nearly all the time and Cal was still behind. It was a difficult race to pull away but I’m so happy.”

shares
comments
KTM "starting to see the light" after Argentina points
Previous article

KTM "starting to see the light" after Argentina points

Next article

Marquez feels less pressure than 2016 despite Vinales threat

Marquez feels less pressure than 2016 despite Vinales threat
Load comments
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
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