This is a world championship for ‘doodlebugs’ and Maverick Vinales has realised this for some time. As a result, he can even be satisfied with a fourth place, when in front of him in third position, he lost just three points to Joan Mir, the new world championship leader and on the top two steps of the podium were opponents miles away in the standings like Rins and Marquez
Moreover, even though Maverick lost some points from the Suzuki rider, on the other hand he gained 13 points over Fabio Quartararo, so he just has to be satisfied.
“Especially because this time I got a good start - he joked - here the first corner is very close, so I used the launch control”.
Seven laps in the lead, however, were not enough to build up an advantage and take home 25 points, the big target. In fact, on the eighth lap, Alex Rins made his move and it was impossible for the Yamaha rider to hold him off.
“As long as I had Quartararo behind me I was in control, but when Rins overtook me I couldn't do anything. Today we took home the best we could, the Suzuki and the Honda had more grip. As I said, I got a good start, I did an excellent first lap, but after four or five laps I couldn't keep up the pace. The tyres dropped badly, especially on the left. I didn’t expect that. The drop of the tyres in the race was too fast, maybe we made a mistake with the pressure, maybe it was too high, but especially on corner entry, in sectors 1 and 4 I had big problems ”.
One wonders what Yamaha can do to improve the performance, in the face of this advance by Suzuki and, probably, also by Honda.
“We didn’t change the bike much here, I just focussed on riding it because when we try to change something we make a mess. Today I was losing the rear when entering the corners and so you lose a lot of speed. I don't know exactly what happened to Fabio, but these situations are not new for Yamaha. What we need to do is improve our strengths to have more pace. We need to work more on the front to improve entry speed and have more corner speed. We need to stop trying to improve our weaknesses and instead focus on improving our strengths ”.
Yamaha is still leading the constructors 'championship with Ducati and Suzuki at a safe distance - 23 and 40 points respectively - but in the riders' championship the situation is very fluid: after Aragon, Mir is in the lead with Quartararo at -6 and Vinales at - 12.
“Aragon, but also Valencia are good tracks for Yamaha. I repeat: every time we try to improve our weak points we don't have good races. We need to improve our strengths, also because the Hondas of Alex Marquez and Nakagami are arriving. They are improving ”.
Towards the end it looked like you were catching up on Mir…
"Actually, I only hoped he made a mistake in the final part."
Is there a strategy to try to win this world championship?
“To make every race the best one, because with this Covid we don't know how things can end. You have to go fast in every race ”.