Monster Energy factory Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales said that he is ‘very happy and excited’ about the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang after qualifying in the middle of the front row.
The Spaniard has had supreme pace in longer runs through the weekend and after some games being played by Fabio Quartararo and Marc Marquez, Vinales kept himself to himself and put himself on pole position in the closing seconds.
Unfortunately for Vinales, Quartararo had managed to get one more lap in, taking the top spot off him with time expired. Despite missing out on the pole position, Vinales said he is really happy by his qualifying performance.
“I’m really happy,” said the Yamaha man. “Honestly, I started the weekend already with a lot of confidence on the bike. Then this morning I felt really good on a race set up, which means we have the possibility to fight at least for the victory until the end.
“I felt great on the bike in many, many laps. Then in quali it’s always difficult, we all try our best to do one perfect lap. It was a good lap, we did a good lap and we need to keep working for one lap where we can improve, but anyway I’m very happy and excited about tomorrow’s race.”
Starting from the front row Vinales has a great opportunity to get away with the leading group, however he did note that the run down to the first corner could leave he and the other Yamaha’s vulnerable with Ducati’s and Honda’s behind.
“In Phillip Island I didn’t start really good, but somehow I found a way to take the lead and push,” he said.
“So here I will try to start in a good way, try to be in the first places at the beginning of the race and see how we manage the tyres. I think first corner is quite long, so Miller, Dovi, Marc and Rins can attack from the first lap, so we will see.”