Monster Energy Factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales explained that his strategy didn’t go to plan, leaving the Spaniard down in eleventh on the grid for Sunday’s French MotoGP at Le Mans.
After topping the combined free practice times, Vinales went into qualifying and will’ve been hoping for a strong outing. However, Vinales, along with his factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi and Fabio Quartararo, elected to begin Q2 on slick tyres.
It was clear after just one lap that the track was too wet for slicks with all three riders in to change onto wets, but a quarter of the session was wasted.
“The strategy didn’t quite go to plan,” said Vinales.
“We decided to give the slick tyres a chance at the start of Q2, but it started to rain more. We lost two or three laps at the moment the track was in the best condition to set a fast time.”
Despite the error in strategy during qualifying, Vinales remained upbeat about his chances and pace this weekend.
“I think we are doing well this weekend,” he said. “We are trying to improve ourselves, and in the wet we improved a lot. In the dry I always felt great, so it’s a good track for us.
“It’s true that I have to start the race from eleventh, but we’re going to do our best to be on the podium. We have confidence, because I understand how to ride the bike and how to be faster.
“The bike, right now, is on a good level. We still have to improve in some areas, but it’s coming. Nothing is impossible, so we are going to push tomorrow, give our best, and see what we can achieve.
“We’ll try to be strong tomorrow, especially in the first half of the race, because it’s going to be very important to overtake.”