Monster Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales has revealed the decision to remain with the Iwata MotoGP team for another two years was not an easy one but some changes within the squad have made him a happier rider.
The Spaniard, who will stay with the team until the end of 2022, now feels like he has his own team of people around him and that was one of the reasons he felt able to extend his contract for 24 months.
“It was not easy because I needed to clarify many points within Yamaha which in the previous year I didn’t feel really good but finally I felt good, I felt a lot of support from Yamaha in the last months,” said Vinales, speaking at the team launch.
“I also changed my mentality a little bit. For sure it was difficult but now I think we create a strong team, this makes a lot of weight in my decision. We create a good atmosphere that I didn’t want to break and I enjoy racing, which is most important, and that is one of the biggest reasons I stay in Yamaha.
It was really important to have my own team, now all the people I have understand what I need. I never had that in previous years, I feel much more ready now.”
Vinales is, of course, aiming to be champion this season and believes that he will have to start from the front row more regularly to achieve it. Michelin have a new tyre which former Yamaha employee Bradley Smith said should suit the M1.
“The change will be positive. More grip brings allows better acceleration and more top speed,” said Vinales.
“For the first laps it will be better for us to have more constant grip. Every time I start first or second, I have the chance to win, so that will be the main target every race.”