A difficult day for the Yamaha riders. Maverick Viñales, thanks to the time he obtained in the morning, is currently the last of the ten who will pass directly into the Q2 in tomorrow’s qualifying. The Spanish rider, despite his poor tests, says he's happy that he identified the right tires to work on the race pace. Yamaha’s problems are always the same: braking and grip. If these are resolved, Viñales claims that they’ll have incredible performance.
“Honestly, the day went well for me. It was good because we tried a few things. We certainly have to work on braking, although I actually felt an improvement. Now we need to focus on the grip. In the morning, we mounted the hard rear tire, and we had absolutely no grip, so we need to improve on this aspect as well. In the afternoon, the pace was good with the medium tires, then we tried the soft ones and, I don’t know why, but even so, it didn’t work out, so I couldn’t have a great time. We’ll definitely work more tomorrow, but we’ll always go in the same direction to improve. For now ,we lack grip with worn tires.”
Maverick has a very specific goal for Valencia.
“We worked on the rear suspension and on the set-up of the rear of the bike. What we’re trying to do is brake late and still be able to stop the bike. It’s my mission here in Valencia. This morning, we worked with the aim of increasing confidence with the bike. We tried different balances on the bike, and this helped me a lot because my confidence in the Yamaha actually increased. Despite this, we still have a lot of work to do to be fast in the race.”
#12 is very certain about the problems that affect the performance of the M1 and is determined to solve them in the shortest time possible. What’s missing most is the feeling.
“I’ve been with Yamaha for three years now. The work we’re doing now is completely different than what we did before. The main thing we have to commit to is confidence because, when you have it with this bike, you can do incredible things. For now, I’m focused on finding it. The point on which the bike needs to improve is undoubtedly braking. When I follow other riders, I realize that we really lose a lot. The situation degenerated after Misano. When you have no grip, you make a difference by working with the front. We’re focused. I don’t know if tomorrow will be better, but we have to insist and work on different aspects. Anyway, I’m happy even if the bike was slow, because I mounted the right tire in the morning or I would never have reached that time.”
Although the current season hasn’t gone as he hoped, the Spanish rider is focused on 2021 with the aim of becoming World Champion.
“Like everyone knows, we don’t have an incredible feeling. We’ve lost it. Today, when I rode on the soft tires, it was really difficult, and I don’t understand the problem. We should do a great job for these races and take the opportunity to try new things on the remaining weekends to try for next year. In 2021, we’ll fight to win or, at least, as far as I’m concerned, I’ll fight for the title. To do that, we need to improve, because our rivals will too, so we need to make the most of these last two races.”
Audio recorded by: Nicole Facelli