MotoGP

Vinales: The package is there

Maverick Viñales is upbeat ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, insisting he has demonstrated in the first three rounds that “the bike is good, is there.”

His start to the year has been some way below what was expected, but Maverick Viñales is convinced he has a package capable of regularly fighting toward the front of MotoGP races, should he master conditions on a Sunday afternoon.

The Catalan currently sits twelfth in the world championship with just 14 points to his name despite showing great speed at some point during each of the three opening rounds of the year.

Despite a near exemplary preseason, Viñales has repeatedly run into issues in races: in Qatar he was unable to repeat his lines from qualifying when fighting in a group; in Argentina he could not find grip in the early laps; and in Austin he jumped the start.

The performances of team-mate Valentino Rossi – currently second overall, 37 points clear of the #12 – has proved to Viñales the potential of Yamaha’s 2019 M1.

“For sure the season didn’t go as we thought but there are really some really positive points between these three races,” he said. “It is true that the results are not good because you can see my team-mate is on the podium but I think the package of the bike is good, is there.

“We just have to take the profit and just have to try to not do the same mistakes and be there. I mean, we are fast, we have the speed that’s the most important, now I have to set the points in the correct way and trying to be in the front as I think is our place.”

What is his goal for the Spanish Grand Prix? “To be at the maximum all the laps of the race,” he said. “You know, my goal this weekend is to be at my best on the race, that’s very important because I feel like always in the race I can’t give my best and that’s very frustrating.

“I need to find a way to give the best, I feel if I can take all the profit from the bike and from myself I can be in the front fighting for the top positions, so I need to just give it everything, that is the main goal this weekend.”

The five-time MotoGP race winner enjoyed a positive test in Andalusia last November, where he insisted he could fight for this year’s world title if Yamaha listened to his demands.

The Jerez track has since been resurfaced from that test, with the extra grip of the new tarmac surely going to play into Yamaha’s hands. Will that play into Viñales' hands?

“Sure, especially in sector three because also even in the test I suffered so much in sector three,” he said. “I was quite strong in one, two and four but sector three is always very difficult with our bike. So I think, if can help, I will say yes, because finally I need more grip to turn the bike.

“But anyway, it’s for everyone the same so we will try to be better than we were in the test. It’s going to be difficult because in the test we were quite strong compared to our competitors but we need to keep working. Especially for us it is going to be very important these left corners from sector three, let’s see if we can improve it.”

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