Episode 8 of 2020 is here and this week the Last On The Brakes team have a fantastic in-depth chat with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales. The Spaniard chats about various topics that have shaped his journey to the peak of the premier class, including some of the struggles he and Yamaha have faced in the last couple of years.
“For me it was perfect, it was what I was looking for,” comments Viñales, talking about making the jump from Suzuki to Yamaha at the beginning of the 2017 campaign. It was a combination that got everyone excited – Viñales’ smooth, eloquent style would undoubtedly suit the YZR-M1. And the 2013 Moto3™ World Champion certainly clicked with his new toy: “When racing, I’m looking forward to winning and especially battling for the title. I moved up to Yamaha and already from the first day I thought ‘now we have the chance, I must fight for the title’,” continued the number 12 rider.
“And we showed it in the first six races I was leading by 36 points or so… but then things changed. What did we do wrong? We started to change the bike a lot. And then we got so lost. We got lost for two years! It wasn’t easy for me. Imagine, I dominated the first races like I wanted… but then I was playing a lot with everything, it was like the bike and myself were one. And then they changed the tyre, the problem was in Montmelo. In Montmelo we made a mistake with tyre choice and finished at the back.
“And after that, Yamaha started to change everything. I remember in Assen, we took three chassis and I was getting crazy. I lost completely the feeling with the bike and also with the team. So it was very hard for me to understand and also say, ‘ok, this is how it is’, while I was seeing myself as a potential champion. It was pretty difficult for me. I had such a difficult time in 17 and 18 because that was not my place, what I was doing. I always thought I was able to do much more - I still think this. Like last year, we didn’t show the potential yet. So the development Yamaha are doing is so important and especially the trust that they’ve put in me right now.”
But it seems like Viñales and Yamaha are back on track, something the 23-time Grand Prix winner touches upon in the MotoGP™ Podcast episode. But you’ll have to give it a listen to find out what he says about the turnaround, his 2021 teammate Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and some of these other topics:
- The debut season in 2011, winning his fourth ever race
- Hype and how does it feel to be at the centre of it?
- Has he and Quartararo ever spoken about hype?
- End of 2012 drama, turning negative comments into constructive criticism
- Yamaha was the best bike at one point, is it natural there are ups & downs for a factory?
- How does a rider choose the right time to move up to MotoGP™?
- How did Viñales’ mindset change to go from expecting wins to expecting top 10s?
- 2016 and his first MotoGP™ win at Silverstone
- The move to Yamaha
- Support systems when times get hard
- When did he feel that turnaround coming?
- Mindset change and what happened in Australia 2019
- What it’s like in “the zone”
- His real potential