Le Mans ended prematurely for Maverick Vinales on Sunday, after a fall in the early stages of the race with the current championship leader, Bagnaia. Both riders ended up metaphorically hitting the gravel. They then clarified things and agreed that it was a race accident. But Race Direction will have the last word, given the unclear dynamics.
“Pecco and I battled it out at the worst point,” Vinales explained. “It’s a shame, because I had a clean overtake. My point of view is that he should’ve given me more room to maneuver. Instead, we both brought home a zero. Here, at Le Mans, I had good potential, and it was wasted.”
Does it have anything to do with the difficulty in the line of vision in some points of the chicane?
“Of course. I didn’t really see him coming. As for the accident itself, it remains a race accident for me, but the decision is up to the stewards.”
What did you say to Pecco?
“After the adrenaline of the moment, we cleared things up. Pecco and I are among the riders with the cleanest overtakes. There’s no reason to hold a grudge. We’ll have other opportunities on the track to challenge each other again. These are things that happen.”
But the cameras caught you when you both seemed really angry.
“It was the adrenaline of the moment. I was obviously angry, because I knew I could have had a good race. We then made sure we weren’t hurt, and we let it go. We riders have to respect each other. It’s essential.”
So you had the pace to win?
“Hard to say. At the time, I think my pace was among the best for sure. There’s nothing else to add. It’s clear that the frustration is great, because we know the potential of our Aprilia, and we continue to work to get results, but sometimes things don’t go as they should.”