Catalunya MotoGP: Vinales: “Wins’ til the disaster, my head is crazy” | MotoGP

The roller coaster ride depicting the 2020 Maverick Vinales MotoGP results took its final jump in Catalonia, where the winner of the previous race at Misano finished only ninth.

The Spaniard is just as confused by the fluctuations as anyone and after the race on Sunday admits:

“It stays the same, you come from winning and then you do this disaster of a race and your head is insane. Right now my head is insane, I don’t understand anything.”

While the other Yamahas of Fabio Quartararo, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli swapped first, second and third place in the first half of the Grand Prix, Vinales was back in 15th place and struggled to overtake.

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“This result is certainly hard to swallow, because we came from a win and a perfect drive and you can see for yourself you can’t get past P15,” said Vinales.

“I did 16 laps behind Aleix and Cal and couldn’t overtake, impossible.

“If you don’t get off to a good start with our bike, you can only do laps after laps. You can’t overtake until your opponent loses grip.

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“So that’s what I did, I just finished 16 laps behind Aleix and Cal.”

After his opponents began to fight, Vinales fought his way up to ninth place and was one of the fastest drivers on the track in the final laps.

“In the end, the rhythm was not bad, when I was alone, I was able to go 1’41 low, while the front group was 1’41 high,” he confirmed. “But you’re in the back. So I’d rather be in the front and drive 1’43!”

“Everything is in the first round,” added Vinales. “We get along very well with our bike, if you don’t have a good first lap, you’re out of the fight. That happened today, so we can’t do more.

“Quite strange to your mind, but when you understand that this is the maximum potential you can achieve today, you are calm in your head.”

The result means that Vinales, who started the race just one point behind the World Cup lead, are now 18 behind or Catalonia winner Quartararo in third.

Vinales identified a bad start, bike setup and overtaking difficulties as reasons for his nightmare race:

The beginning

“The problem is the start. If you start at the front, it will be a completely different result today. Because I was very strong in the second part of the race,” said Vinales.

“As always, we don’t have any power in fourth or fifth gear, so I lost a lot of places at the start. Not in the first part, but in the second part of the start.

“In Misano, for example, it’s only first, second, and third gear and you’re in the corner [Turn 1]. Here is fifth gear, full throttle. I think that’s the difference. In third, fourth, or fifth place, the other bikes have a lot more potential than we do.

“When I saw who was on the grid around me this morning, I said,“ whoah … I should have come in the front row in qualifying! ”We couldn’t do more.

The Spaniard, who qualified fifth, fell back to 16th place by the first corner.

But the other M1s – starting from the front row – came out of the opening corners in the first, third and fourth corners. Why the difference?

“I only started in the middle. So if you brake with a lot less speed, you can’t try to make up places. That’s basically the problem,” said Vinales.

Team principal Massimo Meregalli agreed: “The first corner cost Maverick a good result today. He had to brake earlier and other drivers overtook him left and right and lost a lot of positions for him to overtake our bike, as we know.

“Maverick never had the same great feeling this weekend as they did at Misano. We need to analyze the data to see how we can fix that for the next lap.”

Difficulties overtaking – braking, top speed

Having dropped to 15th place at the end of the first lap, it would take Vinales until lap 13 (of 24) to make up ground.

“To be honest, when I started I forgot everything, I just thought about overtaking the man in front and pushing and pushing and pushing because this morning I understand that the second part of the race is mine Strength will be.

“But I was very frustrated, I tried everywhere – outside, inside. I don’t know what else to try for 16 laps. I changed all of the cards to see if it did something. But with our bike it’s very difficult to overtake so the only thing you can do is start and push first.

“I even let Aleix and Cal go a little to cool off and see the tires and nothing worked. The only time I got past Turn 5, outside braking. A crazy move where I risked a lot I crashed, but that’s how it happens. When I was alone, I had good lap times.

“If you get stuck behind someone, you can’t overtake them. That is the main problem. “

Vinales had an average top speed of 337.0 km / h, compared to 339.1 for Quartararo, 338.5 for Rossi and 335.3 for Morbidelli. The highest average (top 5 racing speeds) was 349.4 km / h by Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

However, Vinales said his situation was worse than it appeared because he was adjusting his speeds in the slipstream.

“The problem is that the bike is very slow. I don’t know why. But today I was the slowest with Morbidelli. And I was with the slipstream,” said Vinales. “It’s pretty strange for me. The bike was in the slipstream, and the bike was even slower than the others who were in the front without slipstream.”

The gearbox could have been a factor.

“Yes, I was in sixth gear on the Limiter for the last 100 meters, maybe that influences a bit. But it’s always the same anyway. I got the other drivers very badly. But when I moved to third, fourth, fifth place, I have big problems. “

While all Yamahas are struggling in terms of engine performance, Vinales’ overtaking problems were made worse by the weakness in the braking zone.

“I had problems with braking and grip all weekend,” he said. “For example, if I’m in front, I can brake very late and I can stop the bike and turn it around. But when I’m behind it it’s impossible. Every time I brake late, I get right to the rear and I have to pick up the bike and go straight on.

“I’ve been trying to be with other drivers all weekend and I already knew I couldn’t overtake. So we have to work on it.”

Setup changes

In order to improve the braking problems, Vinales and his crew had moved away from the victorious set-up that they discovered in the second race at Misano.

In retrospect, it was probably a mistake.

“We did the same job [as usual this weekend]”We just never found a good feeling,” said Vinales. “I started with the Misano bike that made me feel really good. Then we tried to find something more, switched bikes and lost our way.

“We had a lot of problems with the front, it blocked very strongly the whole weekend, so we just tried something completely different to avoid this front-block. We avoided the front-block, but lost in other places.” he explained.

“We tried many, many things on the bike, maybe too many, and we definitely lost each other this weekend. We came to the warm-up with a completely different setup and didn’t know what to choose.

“So we have to keep that in mind because the Misano bike worked well, especially in this race.”

Dovizioso: It’s the rear tire

It wasn’t mentioned by Vinales, but its competitor Andrea Dovizioso believes the new rear tire construction is the main cause of the upside-down results for many of the front runners.

“How do you explain the drivers’ average points this season and what happened to Maverick, for example? 1st, 10th … For many riders, so much has never happened in the past, ”said the Ducati rider.

“This year the championship is crazy because if we had the same tires as last year I think the results would be similar to last year. Everything that happens has to do with the new ones.” [tyre] Casing.”