Maverick Vinales is back on the rollercoaster. One week ago at Misano he was at the highest point, today in Barcelona he collapsed again, finishing the race in 9th place which was only good for a few points. All while the other Yamahas were fighting for the Montmelò podium.
“Today nothing went according to plan - the Spaniard commented - When I started and saw Miller, Zarco, Miller and Petrucci overtake me as if they were on planes, I realized it would be a difficult day”.
The start was so disastrous that the first thought was that he had some problem with his M1. It was not the case...
“We simply lack power - Maverick clarified - I arrived at the first corner in a funnel, too slow, I couldn't do much. I found myself behind Aleix Espargarò and Crutchlow for 16 laps and it was impossible to overtake them, I could only wait for them to have problems with the tyres and then attack them under braking on the outside. It was a crazy manoeuvre, I risked crashing”.
As has often happened in the past, Vinales is unable to find an explanation.
"There is not much to say, when you are behind someone with the Yamaha you cannot overtake - he continued - This weekend I struggled a lot with the grip, we changed the bike a lot, maybe too much and we lost direction. In the warm-up I tried a completely different set-up, we didn't know what to choose. We didn't do a good job ”.
It's difficult for him to find something positive to say about the weekend…
"Racing or not racing today wouldn't have made a big difference - he continued - The only thing I could do was get to the finish line, fight for every point. When you come from a victory and then have a disastrous race you don't understand much, you feel lost ”.
The more Vinales tries to analyse the situation, the less can be understood the true origin of his problems…
“Here in Barcelona I had problems with the front wheel locking, we solved them but we got worse in the other areas - he explained - The problem is that with the Yamaha you have to start from the front, if I had done it my race would have been completely different. I had a good pace, I know that if I'm first in the first corner I can win. But here at Barcelona you put in the 5th gear before reaching the first corner and they all passed me ”.
From then on it was a disaster.
“It's hard to digest winning one Sunday and being 15th the next - Maverick said - Today on the straight I was the slowest along with Morbidelli, even though I spent the whole race in the slipstream of other riders. I was always on the limiter, in 5th and 6th gear the bike doesn't go and when I'm behind someone I can't even take advantage of the braking, or I risk colliding with them. I was running a second, a second and a half slower than my pace ”.
It does not seem easy to find a solution to these problems…
“Unfortunately in 2021 we will have the same engine - he said - When you try hard and you find yourself always having to deal with the same problems it is difficult to keep motivation. I had the pace to stay in front, it means that next time I will try to be first at the start ”.