Vinales: I hope Race Direction is severe

Maverick Viñales believes Jorge Lorenzo should start the next grand prix from the back of the grid after his mistake took out three riders; “it looks like a rookie mistake and he is a five-time world champion.”
Vinales: I hope Race Direction is severe

Maverick Viñales has called upon the FIM Stewards to penalise Jorge Lorenzo in the wake of the Majorcan’s rash move at turn ten that took down three riders as well as himself, an incident the Yamaha rider labelled as a “rookie mistake.”

The 24- year old Catalan said Lorenzo not only destroyed the races of himself and team-mate Valentino Rossi, but effectively the championship challenge of Andrea Dovizioso. “It’s pretty hard to recover 25 points,” he mused.

While speaking calmly, Viñales was nonplussed at Lorenzo's desire to get to the front at such an early point in the race. “You can overtake me on the straight where we are slow,” he reasoned. “You only need to wait four corners.”

Furthermore he was puzzled by a lack of apology from the five-time world champion, as well as one of Lorenzo’s moves on the warm-up lap, which caused him to pick up his Yamaha M1.

“The back of the grid,” said Viñales when asked what he felt was an appropriate penalty for his countryman. “He took out four riders. If he took out somehow myself or Valentino, we are not fighting for the championship. It’s a racing incident, but not so bad.

“But he took out also Andrea who is fighting for the championship. Today he destroyed my race, Valentino’s race and Dovizioso’s championship. It’s pretty hard to recover 25 points.

“I hope Race Direction is as severe as they were with me yesterday,” he said referring to the three-place grid penalty he received after touring at the end of Q2.

“I’m honest. I saw him on the inside. I tried to avoid the crash. I think a bike touched my rear tyre and I just flew. It was impossible.”

Lorenzo later claimed he had visited the Monster Yamaha garage to offer his apologies to Viñales and Rossi, but found that neither rider was there. The Catalan was nonetheless disappointed at the lack of meeting with the Honda rider.

“He didn’t come to the box to say sorry," said Viñales. "Honestly this corner (turn ten) is always difficult but come on. You are fourth but it’s the first lap. You can overtake me on the straight where we are slow. You only need to wait four corners.

“Also on the warm-up lap he made me one inside overtake without reason. I didn’t understand why [he did it] on the warm-up lap. Also in Mugello he had some problem with [Jack] Miller on the warm-up lap. If you ask me it looks like a rookie mistake and he is a five-time world champion.

“You have to think on the bike even if he is a great rider, come on. You cannot win the race in two laps. With the power he has on the bike he can understand he can overtake me on the straight, not on braking. I’m disappointed for that.

“I don’t understand it. I only did this one time in Moto2. Imagine. I never did and I was under pressure when I was doing bad results. He could leave the braking and go straight. He had the space to go straight.

“For me it’s not an excuse. He was doing a good race because he was fourth. But there is not meaning to overtake there when you can do so on the straight very easy.

“For sure he destroyed our race as I said. The most important part is that I didn’t get any injury. Tomorrow is a really important day for us. We have many things to try and try to understand. The best thing is I got really motivated from today. I feel I can do it again. That’s the most important thing.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom at his debrief, however. Viñales enjoyed a rare fine getaway and climbed four places on the first lap, a time when the former Moto3 world champion notoriously struggled.

“On the other hand I’m quite happy because we took some steps forward this weekend,” he said. “We’ve been working in a different way. It seems to work well. I’ve never felt as fast at the start of the race as I did here.

“So on the one hand I’m disappointed about the crash; but on the other I’m really happy about the weekend. We managed it really well, with the full tank. That is the way. If we want to build a bike to win we have to work, work and work.

“We have some momentum because we were the first Yamaha in the first laps. It was going quite good. On the first lap I thought I could overtake Dovi, which would have meant I jumped five places in one lap.

“That’s something really positive for me. I normally lose many places but there I was very fast in the first laps. Something we did good is prepare the bike for the race. We have to use this race as a point of reference.”

And his thoughts on Assen? “I think it’s is a good track for us. I demonstrated last year. I got this race incident with Marc and finally I recovered to third place. Assen is a good track for us. You never know. Maybe we go there and it’s a disaster.

“But normally it’s a good track for our bike. For sure we’ll keep this momentum. I think the key was FP2, where we had the chance to work on race set-up and not just for one lap. I think the method we did this weekend was the correct one.

“In the first laps I was able to take quite easy when sometimes it’s quite difficult. I see potential in the set-up we worked on in this race.”