Monster Energy Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales said that he achieved his goal of wrapping up third in the MotoGP World Championship with his sixth-place finish at the season finale at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.
The Spaniard came to Valencia with a seven-point lead of Alex Rins and a 25 point lead of Danilo Petrucci in the battle for third place. Vinales’ sixth place, combined with Rins’ fifth place and Petrucci’s DNF means the Yamaha held on to third place behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso.
Vinales wanted to focus on the positives after a difficult race where he suffered with rear grip issues, much like his factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi did.
“Actually, my main objective was to try to be third in the championship,” said the 24-year-old.
“We did it today, we forgot a bit about being on the podium or winning. My objective was to finish the race well. It was a difficult race, I struggled a lot with the rear grip, which happens sometimes for us and today again, so we have to check that.
“Today I was very concentrated on finishing close to Rins and trying to get the maximum points. I’m very pleased to be the first Yamaha and to be inside the top three again.”
Vinales was quick to tun his attention to 2020 with the Spaniard excited to try his new M1 when the testing gets underway on Tuesday.
“I can’t wait to test the new bike,” he said.
“We face this new test season with a lot of motivation, a lot of enthusiasm, and that is the most important. We have very important tests coming up here and in Jerez, and I feel great on the bike.
“So, we need to create a good atmosphere again and keep challenging, because I think with Yamaha we can do a really good job this winter and prepare for next year.”