Kevin Schwantz certainly didn’t become known for being someone who stopped fighting. He did this throughout his career, which he spent entirely for a Suzuki in the 500s, which was often less competitive than that of its competitors. and those he raced with like Rainey, Doohan, Lawson, and Gardner, to name a few.
So it didn’t take long for the Texas driver to comment on Maverick Vinales who decided in his own way not to fight on the Yamaha in MotoGP anymore. Our colleagues from Speedweek interviewed Schwantz, who offered a piercing perspective on the subject.
“To see him last with the works Yamaha at the Sachsenring, while Fabio Quartararo finished third there in the race, was unbelievable,” said Schwantz. “With an official Yamaha! And a week later he was the fastest in every session in Assen. He secured his pole position and was only beaten by Fabio in the race. The two Yamaha factory riders were clearly faster than all the others in the Dutch TT. But beware. A bike doesn’t change from a last-place bike to a winning bike in a week. He can improve from fifth or sixth place to first place. But a bike can’t be so far behind in a few days and then become so competitive. Fabio proved it. He was third in Germany, first in Assen. Of course, the gap between those far behind and those far ahead is smaller today than ever before. So if you have a bad day you can be three or four tenths behind. But you don’t lose twenty places in the ranking. “
“Being a good rider in MotoGP is not enough. You need to be strong in your head too. If the driver in the pits next to you is winning all the time and leading the world championship, it’s easy to get sad. But you have to concentrate on your work, do your best and deliver the best possible performance by the end of the year. “
The Aprilia 2022 hypothesis currently appears to be the only viable one for Vinales, and Schwantz doesn’t think it will be the best choice.
“I have no idea why Maverick should take this risk and accept this. He must have been very, very unhappy at Yamaha. Aleix Espargaró always claims that Aprilia is very close to the top. And then he’ll be eighth. So he’s not that close to the winning machines yet. “