Monster Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales had the importance of a good grid slot rammed home in yesterday’s Le Mans MotoGP as he was punted out of 14th place by an errant Pecco Bagnaia on lap six.
Vinales, who had been right at the sharp end through free practice, made a mess of final qualifying and started in 11th place which left him exposed in the pack and he was taken out for the second time in as many races.
“Honestly, I couldn’t do anything. I was trying to overtake Aleix at that moment,” said Vinales.
“I think it’s important for us to understand the mistakes we made this weekend, which is mainly on the Saturday with the qualifying strategy.
When you start from 11th on the grid, these types of race incidents are something you’re exposed to. So, we need to keep working to understand what we can improve.
“It started out as a perfect weekend and we ended it with zero points, so we have to learn from it.”
Before the crash, Vinales was a couple of seconds behind leader Marc Marquez and trying to make his way forward but had lost out to Alex Rins after another bad start.
“I’m sure I could have gone up many places in the race, because I was getting into the rhythm, and even the podium wasn’t too far, just two seconds.
I think I would have been able to push and close the gap, but when you start from more towards the back it’s always difficult.
“We need to pay attention during the qualifying, because it’s very important to be on the first or second row and make sure we don’t make the same mistake at the next races.”