Title: Vinales still not able to perform at his best in Barcelona qualifying with the Yamaha

Author: Myanna Wedes

Maverick Vinales qualified 9th fastest today at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit after a very challenging few practice sessions and an intense qualifying session where Vinales started in Q1. The World Championship leader was still not satisfied with the Yamaha bike and honestly did not want to talk anymore about the tyres because he feels as though he is the only one really struggling. In comparison to Vinales, Pedrosa was in a class of his own qualifying in first and was followed by Lorenzo and Petrucci. Jonas Folger who is on the Tech3 Yamaha ended up ahead of Vinales and this is a very important career achievement for the young German rider.

Maverick was asked why are you struggling so much? Maverick Vinales: “It is a question I give to myself and when I get to the finish line… why? I really do not know. We modified a lot of the bike in the sessions but the problem is still there. The bike is not accelerating especially in corner three and four and the last corner I have a lot of problems. It is still spinning. Very strange! With the front I feel quite ok and can push hard but the rear is terrible.” 

As a result, Vinales is feeling quite deflated and is trying to reset for tomorrow’s race. Johann Zarco has said that he would rather have a bike with grip or without grip. During the sessions Vinales’ bike was moving all over the place especially when he was behind Lorenzo. It did not look like a Yamaha. Maverick Vinales: “I have the problem because the bike has no grip! When I go out of the box, it is the same. When I start a lap, the bike is already moving a lot. We have looked at the data and the acceleration out of the box is better but only for one lap. For us it is very strange and we are trying our best.”

The philosophy anything can happen on a Sunday is true at Barcelona. There is a chance that Vinales could pull a rabbit out of a hat tomorrow and be competitive. At the same time, Vinales will have in his mind the World Championship and damage control to ensure he gets some solid points and does not go risking everything to prove a point. Maverick Vinales: “I hope tomorrow we can improve the feeling to make the rhythm. From the first lap, there is a drop off. It is strange. As I said, we will try our best and I will do my best. I will be aggressive on the first lap to get ahead and I have good braking points and lets see if I can then find a rhythm and be strong. We are trying everything. The situation is similar to yesterday and I have to manage it and we did this today”.  

On the other hand, Vinales has also debuted a new helmet tribute to Luis Salom. Maverick Vinales: “At least for me, it is difficult to forget and I wanted to do a helmet just to remember him and this is something I like to do and always do. I wanted to do it here. Montmelo – for me it is nice to wear it here”.

Finally, Vinales spoke of Dani Pedrosa getting pole position. He was shocked at how Pedrosa pulled together that lap. Maverick Vinales: “This is something I do not understand. In Mugello, he was struggling and was twelfth and today first. It is something very strange to understand. I also noticed that Marc was struggling and crashed four times. I don’t know. What I can say is that with the front I feel better than with the rear. We need to improve. Medium front is good.”

Credit: Myanna Wedes

Credit: Myanna Wedes

About The Author

Myanna Wedes

Myanna has an incredible grasp and knowledge of the sport in detail and continues to secure lead stories every week. She is in constant contact with team and rider media management. She is an admitted lawyer with two degrees and is currently writing a biography on Alan Jones MBE 1980 F1 World Champion. She is a fond lover of two wheel motorsport, predominantly MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.