Maverick Vinales is thrilled with the “amazing” lap that secured the factory Yamaha man an important pole position for Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix.
Yamaha were expected to go well at the twisty Italian Misano circuit, and the Japanese manufacturer duly delivering as they achieved a 1-2-3-4 result in qualifying-Vinales 0.641 clear of fifth-placed Jack Miller’s Ducati.
An ecstatic Vinales says he was more happy with his record-breaking 1:34.411 effort-0.218 up on Jorge Lorenzo’s previous 2018 benchmark-than actually being on pole, but conceded he needed to be “smart” tomorrow in order to convert his pole to a first victory in 2020.
“I’m really happy because the lap-time was amazing, (I’m excited) less because of the position but because of the lap-time, I saw the 31.4 and though ‘that’s a good lap’,” exclaimed Vinales following qualifying at Misano.
“I’m really happy about the job over the whole weekend, we put the bike in the correct place and from FP1 the bike felt amazing, so we’re going to try and be smart tomorrow, trying to understand how the race will play out and to enjoy it.
“I couldn’t breathe for 20 seconds because the airbag went off!”
Vinales’ chief rival for victory in the San Marino GP will likely be Fabio Quartararo, who narrowly missed out on a debut MotoGP victory in last year’s event after being denied at the final corner by eventual world champion Marc Marquez.
The Petronas SRT racer starts third behind team-mate Morbidelli for the encounter, but Vinales says he is simply after “any result” after only scoring a best of tenth in the last three contests.
“We’ll see it’ll be difficult, we’ll try to push from the beginning to have a fast and consistent rhythm but we will see, I will give my maximum and then we’ll see.
“Any top result will be good as we’ve had the two previous races with bad results so for me any result will be welcome.”
Vinales currently sits fifth in the MotoGP riders championship standings following his tough Austria-Czech triple header, his pair of second place finishes captured in the opening two rounds of the ’20 campaign at Jerez keeping him within 22 points of series leader Fabio Quartararo.