When Vinales feels comfortable on the bike, he's unstoppable. That's exactly what happened today at Losail where, during his final exit on soft tyres, he completed four out of five laps in under 1’56”, more than enough to secure his spot at the top of the timesheets.
“I'm really pleased because I felt good on the bike and this is the fourth time that's happened at four tracks - he comments, referring to Valencia, Jerez, Sepang and now Losail - This is the most important thing, because I can ride the M1 as I want now, in an aggressive way, and fully exploit it”.
Despite the positive result, Maverick prefers to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
“I'm pleased, but don't want to go over the top. I know we've taken steps forward in recent months, but I'm also aware that it's still not enough yet. We're losing too much in terms of top speed for example, 10 Km/h compared to the fastest is too much”.
On the other hand, the Spaniard is convinced he still has room for improvement.
“The base set-up I'm using is the same as what we used at last year's Thai GP. The next two days will be important in terms of defining the bike. I know where to work, the electronics and engine brake are two important areas. As I've said, we've taken many small steps but need to understand if we can a bigger step”.
Aside from the technical aspects, Vinales' approach has also changed. In the past, he had a tendency to display extreme emotions while now he is more balanced.
“I don't want to put pressure on myself, I've made that mistake in the past. My aim is to improve race after race and if, from time to time, it doesn't go well, then I will try to make up for it the next time. I feel relaxed and focused, my mind is clear and my body ready. I don't just have to work on the bike but on myself too”.
In the meantime, he can be optimistic ahead of the first race.
“I admit that I feel ready, but let's wait and see, we still have two days and a lot of work to do here”.