News 13 Mar 2019

Yamaha YZR-M1 has to improve declares Vinales

Spaniard finishes seventh after starting from pole in Qatar.

Maverick Vinales declares his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 has to improve after finishing seventh in Sunday’s opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.

Vinales was tipped as a favourite to win the season-opener, lighting up the timesheets during pre-season testing and even landing on pole at Losail International Circuit.

Overcoming a poor start from P1, the Spaniard struggled to maintain his position within the lead group, admitting he lacked grip when behind a rider, preventing him from attacking and overtaking.

“At the start I got a lot of wheelie, I couldn’t keep the gas fully open and I missed the inside a little bit, so I couldn’t keep a good line,” Vinales explained. “Obviously, we have to improve the bike. When I’m alone I can do really good lap times, even in the middle of the race I could ride 1m55s-lows on my own.

“But as soon as I’m behind another rider I suffer this lack of grip on the rear, and I couldn’t attack and overtake. We have to improve, and so do I. We need to keep working. The positive point is that we now know where we have to improve, and this is very important.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati Team) narrowly edged reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) for victory in Qatar, just 0.023s separating them across the line.