The "old" Valentino in Brno was the best Yamaha performer, but that's not a great satisfaction. "You can't be happy with a 6th place ," he admitted. "And not even for the 9 seconds I got at the finish line from Marquez. But he wants to see the glass half full at all costs. "I was at least able to ride better than the last few races," he said. "And I was fast when braking and entering corners. But everyone who came up front was more competitive than me."
It's the same old story, that of a meteoropathic M1 with an engine that's not at the same level as the competition. In Brno, all the chickens came home to roost, and it was heartache once again. The only consolation is that something has arrived from Japan for tomorrow's tests.
Valentino, what will you have to test?
"First of all, a new engine, for 2020, and then some other material.
Is that what you need?
"Our biggest problem this year is top speed, plus acceleration. We're far from the best on the straight. We need to improve."
Was that also a problem in today's race?
"Yes, for me ,as it was for Vinales. When you're slower on the straight, you can't get close to those ahead of you when braking, and it becomes difficult to pass. I realized this with Pol Espargarò."
You're not allowed to develop engines during the season.
"In fact, we have to work on it for next year. Usually, an engine is either powerful or easy to use, but it seems that the best MotoGPs have both these qualities lately. Logically, I don't expect so much from tomorrow's tests. It's just a first development, but I'd be happy even a small improvement."
You always said that when the Yamaha was a winner, it brought the prototype to Brno for the following year.
Does an engine satisfy you?
"Last year, they only brought a fender. It seems to me that the situation has definitely improved." he laughed. All kidding aside, Yamaha must realize that we have to work seriously."
Vinales said that 2020 is not of interest to him yet. The priorities are the next races.
"I also think about it and, in fact, tomorrow we'll also have to try some material that we can already use this season. Like developments for electronics."
The M1, at least with Vinales, seemed to have lifted its head in the last few GPs. How do you explain today's difficulties?
"Our bike is very sensitive to changing conditions. If we find a perfect weekend, then we're fast. But if there is a change in temperature or if it rains, then we suffer."
So you were expecting a complicated race?
"This morning, in the warm up, I was really bad but, for some reason, I was more competitive in the race. I started from the third row, which is not bad these days, and this allowed me to be with the group of best riders, even if they were faster than me."
Was the decision to postpone the start a good one?
"Absolutely. Starting in those conditions would have been the most dangerous thing to do. The whole track was dry with the exception of the first and last corner, so we would have had to start with the slick but, after the start, we would have ended up in a group on the wet asphalt. I asked to delay the departure, and it was an excellent decision."