Vinales ‘fighting bike’ as Yamaha humbled by satellites again

Despite having the measure of Valentino Rossi all day, Maverick Vinales' seventh on the grid puts him well behind the Petronas SRT bikes.
Vinales ‘fighting bike’ as Yamaha humbled by satellites again

Already facing an evening of questions after watching Valentino Rossi fail to progress beyond Q1, though Maverick Vinales spared some blushes with a comparatively solid seventh on the grid for the Italian MotoGP he only starts as the third highest-placed Yamaha at Mugello.

On a weekend that has seen rookie Fabio Quartararo once again retain a firm grip on flying the flag for Yamaha this weekend aboard his satellite Petronas SRT bike, his front row start was complemented further by his team-mate Franco Morbidelli placing his M1 in fourth.

It means that while Vinales’ seventh place looks good on paper relative to Rossi down in 18th, it is a humbling outcome for the Monster Yamaha team at a venue it claimed pole position at a year ago.

"My pace is really good, but starting from seventh is always very difficult, very tough. We're going to try to make a good start and ride some good first laps, which we have been working really hard on this weekend.

“Anyway, the race is always different, so then we will see where we are. The bike is moving a lot, I'm fighting it every lap. But anyway, luckily I'm physically really fit. I think I can arrive at the end of the race in a good condition.

“It's going to be a tough and long race, with many bikes and overtakes, so we have to be smart and also manage the tyres."