Lorenzo understands Viñales' start struggles

Starting woes have marred the start of the Monster Energy Yamaha rider’s season, but 5-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo can empathise

Three rounds into the 2019 season and we find Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) down in 12th in the World Championship standings, the last of all four Yamaha riders on the grid this year. Part of this, of course, is due to the DNF in Argentina at the hands of Franco Morbidelli, likely costing him a seventh place finish.

Regardless, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider made slow starts in both Qatar and Argentina, and was sanctioned with a ride through penalty at COTA because of a jump start, which could have cost him the race.

In addition, the Spanish rider has said that he has to adapt his racing lines to be able to overtake other riders, a problem which Repsol Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo also struggled with, when he graduated to the premier class.

Speaking with motorsport.com, the number 99 empathised with his compatriot: "I understand he struggles to start well with the clutch," said Lorenzo. "It doesn’t matter if he’s on the first row, he always loses positions.

"I also suffered with this problem at the beginning of my career in MotoGP. Normally I was on pole position or front row, then I lost one row because bad start and then it’s difficult to recover.

"I had quite different kind of lines compared to other riders, when you are behind other riders you have to take some comfort zone in case you make a mistake, and don’t touch the rider. If you are behind, you have to brake earlier and you are losing time, just to have this margin of safety.

"Probably this is what happened to Maverick. He prefers going alone and leading the race."

We head now to the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, a circuit where Viñales has failed to achieve higher than sixth in the premier class. But the Spaniard has plenty to look forward to, after showing good race pace in the first three rounds and heading to Le Mans, where he has two podiums, including a victory in 2017. No doubt his team and fans will be watching with abated breath, as will his Repsol Honda rival, Jorge Lorenzo, who still yet to deliver a Top 10 with his new team.

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole motogp.com video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass