Monster Energy factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales said that he and his Yamaha team are getting closer to the front after his third-place finish at the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano.
Starting from the pole position, the Spaniard enjoyed a good start leading the opening laps, however, by the end of lap four found himself behind both Fabio Quartararo and eventual race winner Marc Marquez.
Despite dropping down to three seconds back in the early stages, Vinales worked to stay within touching distance of the front two. Vinales did reduce the gap, however a mistake when it was a little over a second left him settling for the final spot on the podium.
“We are getting closer, consistency is the most important, the objective was to be on the podium,” said the Yamaha man.
“I lose a little bit the front, especially lap two, three, four I lose the front in many places, also the rear. I decided to stay calm, trying to understand what the limit was today, and this was the limit.
“Then I found myself a little bit better and I push, but still we have to improve. My competitors today have a little bit more, especially on traction, but I try to be positive.
“It was a good momentum and now we arrive to Aragon a track I like and I’m really strong there. We keep working, we are getting there, step-by-step, I am feeling better and getting more confident.
“Four podiums in six races is very important for us. This is a track where normally I struggle as there is low grip, all Yamaha’s are improving. But we have to make the difference to keep pushing and be on the top spot.”
When asked about the mistake which saw him drop back, Vinales said: “With a few laps to go I saw 1.4, but I was risking everything, then I lose the front turn ten and then I lose a lot, and then it was 1.8 and finally it finishes 1.6.
“But the problem was lap three to lap eight I didn’t have grip. Then I don’t know, I start to ride in a different way, and I found a little bit more grip, being gentle on the bike but still we have to improve the bike.
“For sure we make a step forwards, but I think we can still make another step. When I was behind Fabio, they get a little bit more than myself, so we need to keep working. As I said we are calm, we know we will get the chance to fight for the victory again.”
One of the biggest problems’ areas for Vinales and Yamaha in recent seasons has been spinning under acceleration. This problem was exaggerated on tracks with low grip, much like Misano was this weekend. Vinales explained that his grip issues came about for only five or six laps, with the other twenty or so all much improved.
“Today I suffer a little bit more on traction areas, but this weekend was positive,” he said.
“Were only five or six laps where I didn’t find myself really good, but we keep working, I tried to find a different way to ride the bike during the race and it seems to work. The important thing is to keep working, understanding, the start was really good, we lead the race for two laps and that was important to start also good.
“We struggle a lot, but we seem to have fixed the starts and that’s the important as I can overtake in the first laps of the race and that’s really important.”