Vinales: Managing stress crucial in 2019

Maverick Viñales explains his decision to change personnel within his team; says managing stress will be crucial to the short preseason ahead.
Vinales: Managing stress crucial in 2019

Maverick Viñales believes managing stress levels will be key to his assault on the 2019 MotoGP season, with the 24-year old stating he now has the environment around him to maintain calm and keep his expectations in check.

The Catalan enters his fifth season as a MotoGP rider with a rejigged squad behind him. Gone are crew chief of two years Ramon Forcada and rider coach Wilco Zeelenberg, replaced by new technical chief Esteban Garcia and Julian Simon respectively.

Those new faces should, Viñales believes, offer more support when things aren’t going his way, a situation he endured regularly during what was a largely disappointing 2018 season.



And toward the end of that turbulent year, Viñales also expressed the desire to begin working with a sports psychologist. It is this discovery that will aid his focus when certain changes and developments are not to his liking.

Speaking at Monster Yamaha’s official team launch in Jakarta, Viñales said, “Well, I say that sometimes because sometimes when you push yourself more than your limit, especially when the bike doesn’t arrive to the results that you had in your mind, you start to push yourself a lot and you get a lot of stress.

“For sure last year I got so much stress, especially because in my mind the results [I expected] were completely different to what I did last year. For sure it’s going to help me a lot to go step-by-step in this test and finally I know my riding style, my level and where I can be.

“It’s important to build up a good season and to start with calm and doing the correct things, like we started at the last test in Jerez and Valencia.

“I feel very happy about the change inside my team but still I don’t know Sumi. I never worked with him. I will start working with him in Malaysia. Still I cannot tell many things. We also still haven’t tried the bike. Let’s see. We hope for a good relationship, and that we can work really good together.”

Pressed on his decision to replace the vastly experienced Forcada with Garcia, his crew chief from that Moto3 title winning year in 2013, Viñales expressed a hope that this relationship will offer him more support in difficult moments than before.

“Actually technical point of view, I said many, many times it’s difficult to find someone better than Ramon," he stated. "He stays in Yamaha so long. But I was looking something more. I was looking for more trust. I was looking more, in Spanish we say ‘complicidad’ [ability to work together]: to be more close, to be more sincere with each other.

“I know Esteban has completely different character than Ramon. It will be much better. I need a lot of support sometimes and I think Esteban is great with that. Finally it’s a team. When everything is working well it goes well.

“But when it starts to go the wrong way we have to be ready to fight for it and to be stronger in that kind of situation. For sure it was a shame that Wilco needs to leave but Julito [Simon] will help us a lot.”