MotoGP: Vinales: Clearly what I need to improve on | MotoGP

It is well known that Yamaha is aiming for more top speed for the 2020 MotoGP season.

“This is the main deficit that we have to correct,” confirmed Yamaha Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis.

“We wouldn’t want to put all our efforts into top speed and lose in other areas, but that’s clearly where we’re struggling. It’s probably a mix of horsepower, aerodynamics and acceleration.”

The latest prototype engine was tested in post-season tests at Valencia and Jerez, but Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales both warned that the difference in top speed was still too big.

As Yamaha engineers try to get more out of the engine ahead of February’s Sepang tests, Vinales – the only M1 race winner since Assen 2017 – also believes he can find more power by refining his riding style.

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“I’m pretty clear on what I need to improve and what the bike needs to improve to at least fight for the title,” he said after the final test of 2019. “We’re working very hard and sure for that. Now I’ve got two months to improve myself.”

Questioned further, the two-time race winner from 2019 explained: “A little bit of riding style, some things to be a little bit smoother to make the bike go faster. In that area I think I can, I can adapt pretty well.”

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A MotoGP prototype is a unique machine, but Vinales feels he can work on the changes at home and doesn’t even need a full-size motocross or dirt track bike.

“You can do that with the small bikes too, that’s the way of riding. I’ll be very focused on improving it.”

Vinales has often topped the winter timesheets, only to encounter difficulties early in the racing season.

After being fastest at both Valencia and Jerez, Vinales has been said to be the “king of tests”: “I’d rather be the king of something else!” he joked.

Vinales – who had worked his way up to third overall after a miserable start to last year’s World Championship – also stressed that while his impressive testing pace may remain the same, his approach is very different.

“Actually, we arrive with a different mentality. Another work program. Especially in the box,” he said. “In other tests I did too many laps, tried too many things and wasn’t very clear.

“Now fewer laps, pushing all laps to the maximum is the important point and what we have changed.”

Vinales switched crew chief from Ramon Forcada to Esteban Garcia for the 2019 season, where he took race wins at Assen and Sepang.