MotoGP, Vinales: "I wish Rossi had stayed, I learned a lot from him"

"I continued with Yamaha because I understood how important I am for them. Lorenzo racing in Barcelona? That's good, and it's a strategy to test new pieces in the race."

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These days, the MotoGP riders just have to train and hope to be able to get back on their bike as soon as possible. Last weekend, they were forced to stay home to watch their Moto2 and Moto3 colleagues compete in Qatar, and so did Maverick Vinales.

And it was very strange," he confessed to COPE GP. "I really wanted to be on the bike. I cheered for my favorite riders."

The Spanish rider also spoke of his renewal with Yamaha, to which he's tied until 2022.

"I was at the company. I understood how important I am to them, and this made me decide to continue ," he explained. "I have had good years with them, but not at the level that I can reach."

For Vinales, this will be the last season with Rossi at his side in the garage, and he feels bad about that.

I wish Valentino had stayed because I learned a lot from him. I'll always be grateful to him for what I've learned in these three years by his side," he said.

Speaking of Yamaha, Maverick will have the opportunity in Barcelona to race against Lorenzo on his own bike, since  the rider from Mallorca was confirmed a wild card for the race at Montmelò.

It's a Yamaha strategy to test new pieces in the race. It's very important," Vinales explained. "If they work, we can use them in the second half of the season. It'll be important to see how Lorenzo will do on our own bike."

For the Top Gun, Jorge did well to return to racing, even if only once.

"If he feels good, he's in shape, and feels ready for the race, why not? Racing is a lot of fun, if you have the opportunity, then do it,” was his opinion.

Vinales also spoke about the progress of the M1, especially with regard to the engine.

We have improved a lot," he emphasized. "I managed to stay in the slipstream of several riders in Losail, we are not yet among the best, but we're getting there. Yamaha did a great job in the winter and in a short time. It's not something that will be resolved in a year. The engine will further improve, and the time will come when we'll be able to overtake our opponents on the straight.”

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Translated by Leila Myftija

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