Monster Energy Yamaha factory MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales described his podium finish in Jerez as ‘like a victory’, calling the Spanish circuit one of his worst on the calendar.
Vinales enjoyed his best start to a race so far in 2019 from the second row and found himself away with the lead group, consisting of Marc Marquez and the satellite Yamaha duo of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli.
Despite moving past Morbidelli and benefitting from Quartararo’s misfortune, Vinales was unable to prevent Alex Rins from taking second off of him. He did however; prevent the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso taking the final spot on the podium off of him in the closing stages.
“I think the result is about the start. We did many mistakes in the previous races when I felt even more ready than here in Jerez,” said the 24-year-old.
“But anyway, here today was very important to feel the confidence and start good and be there in the first laps. This was the first objective, this was very important. But there are many, many things to improve and many ways to work. We know the grip is very high, but it reminds us that we have to improve the bike, but the confidence is good.
“To be here on the podium, in Jerez for me even feels like a victory, because it’s a track I really struggle and is one of the worst of the calendar. It was very important to stay in front of the Ducati’s as they were pushing so much at the end of the race and I just tried to keep there on the bike and I pushed my best till the end of the race.”
The start has been an issue for Vinales for more than a season, but today there was a distinct difference for the Spaniard. When asked about what changed, he said: “We worked a lot on the start this weekend, trying to find a method to be more consistent and finally we found it.
“In Austin I started quite good, I just moved in the last second with the engagement of the clutch, and that was a shame because in that race I felt really good. But you know today it was important to start good and be there on the first laps.”
Vinales will stay in Jerez with his Yamaha team for Monday’s test. Despite getting a test at a very important time in the year, the amount of rubber and subsequent good grip means he doubts the test will be as beneficial as it could’ve been.
“We hope to improve our weak points. The only bad thing is tomorrow will be really good grip, so it’s very difficult to simulate a race situation,” said Vinales.
“We understand in many races that we lose a lot in traction, which is why when there is grip we work and when there is no grip we lose a lot in acceleration. It’s very difficult to understand how to improve it, because race feeling you only get in the race, in the test the grip is always good so I can push the bike.
“But anyway there are a few things we have to test and try to improve. It’s very important for Le Mans that we make another step in the traction area and especially for my riding style its very important as I ride a little more stop and go that the other Yamaha riders.”