The Yamaha duo don’t see Mugello MotoGP as a damage control race

The M1 was one of the slowest motorcycles in terms of top speed in 2020. That fact persisted in 2021 due to a winter engine development freeze due to COVID cost-saving measures.

Ducati was the conquering force in Mugello for the last three Italian general practitioners. The last edition in 2019 ended with Maverick Vinales as the best of the Yamahas in sixth and 7.4 seconds ahead of the winner Danilo Petrucci.

Since Ducati is coming into the home lap after two wins, the brand is the favorite to extend its run – not least with its performance advantage, which is suitable for the 1.1 km long main straight of the track.

However, Vinales notes that despite its performance disadvantage for Ducati, Yamaha scored a one-two in Qatar on Losail’s massive front straight, saying the M1 has “very great potential” at Mugello.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Well, I think it’s a weekend that I do very differently than the rest of the weekends of my life,” said Vinales, who had become a father for the first time this week.

“Basically, my motivation is very, very high and somehow I think it can be a great weekend because I love the track.

“I know that the motorcycle has great potential, the first laps of Le Mans [before the rain] I felt very strong and I felt like I could do something special in this race.

“Basically, I’m just continuing that momentum and I think we’re at the level where we can do really nice things.

“Basically we have to watch out for the long straight, but we won both Yamaha riders in Qatar. So we have to believe in that. “

When asked by whether the last corner of Mugello is not an acceleration zone with a low gear, Vinales helps: “Exactly. I think that fact will be really good because somehow at Le Mans I had the feeling that our bike had such a strong acceleration.

“So it won’t be easy because we know they are very strong.

“But somehow we can do it well. So we’ll try to get through the harassment and the last corner asap to see if we can deal with them [Ducatis] At least to the finish line. “

Also read:

Teammate and current championship leader Fabio Quartararo finished tenth on his first visit to Mugello as a MotoGP rider in 2019, but reiterated Vinales’ comments on Yamaha’s potential this weekend.

“I honestly expect a great race,” he said.

“When we were in Qatar, I thought a little bit the same because Ducati won the last two races too [there] and actually we feel good on the bike and I feel like … Ok, we know that the straight is not for us, but there are a lot of corners.

“I feel really good in a lot of fast corners and I think we just have to start the weekend like a normal weekend without thinking about the last three Ducati wins or that we have a big straight here – just do it, do it It our pace and then on Sunday we’ll see.

“But the most important thing is that we have a very good feeling on the bike.”