After qualifying third at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley and looking strong in Free Practice, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) looked set to be able to fight for his first podium of the season at Mugello, and his first victory since Le Mans 2017.
Unfortunately, Viñales’ feeling with his YZR-M1 was completely different to what it had been across Free Practice and Warm Up, with the former Moto3™ World Champion almost crashing several times on the opening lap. “The start and the race is not what we were expecting after FP4 and the Warm Up, the feeling I got on the bike was totally different. I can't ride this bike, I don’t know I lost the front on every corner on the first lap.”
In the latter stages of the race, the number 25 was one of the quickest riders on track, however it was too little too late for Viñales who had no front tyre grip left, as he closed in on the podium battle. “It’s a shame because I was one of the faster riders on the track after lap 10. Finally, I destroyed my front tyre so I couldn’t attack to be on the podium, I try my best, I try my best like I do every day, the bike isn’t working and we aren’t there. I hope Yamaha can make more of the bike to give us the chance to win the races and have the chance to be at the front of the Championship.”
A visibly frustrated Viñales was then asked what he wants Yamaha to do to try and rectify the difficult situation they find themselves in. “Honestly, I just ask that they make the bike work in the race because we made the bike work in FP4, but in the race, it was another bike, set up same, tyres same but the feeling of the bike was really bad. I don’t know I just ask Yamaha to give more effort, especially on my side and they give me the bike to win,” explained the 23-year-old. “I’m with Yamaha to win, not to be eighth or fighting against other riders.”
Next up for the Spaniard is a home round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, however at this moment in time, Viñales doesn’t feel like he can compete at the front. “For sure no, yesterday I felt competitive and in the Warm Up I felt good with good rhythm, then on the race everything was wrong. I don’t know, nobody has an explanation.”