Maverick Vinales says he has “no explanation” as to where his blistering form in practice went during the San Marino Grand Prix, the Spaniard coming home sixth.
Vinales looked to be one of the men to beat alongside Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo throughout practice, before taking pole position for the first Misano encounter in dominant style by over three-tenths ahead of eventual race winner Franco Morbidelli.
Vinales slumped to third after making a decisively average start one the 27 lap race got underway though, slipping back to seventh at one point before re-passing a fading Jack Miller late on to cross the line a disappointing sixth.
The factory Yamaha pilot says his lack of race performance is “complicated”, and that he doesn’t hold much hope his woes can be cured in Tuesday’s Misano test ahead of the second event at the venue next weekend.
“I’m really disappointed,” said a frustrated Vinales.
“I don’t know why I lacked so much grip in the race, I tried everything but I didn’t have enough feedback from the rear tyre and not enough grip.
“It’s always the same, so it’s difficult to have an explanation, we’ll try to work in the test (at Misano) on Tuesday and I always do a lot of laps but it never really matters as in the race it’s the same thing, I have no grip on the rear tyre so I have to be very smooth and not aggressive so I lose a lot of time, also on braking.
“It’s complicated because we have no explanation why I can ride so fast in practice but then in the race everyone is overtaking me so we will see, I’ll try and relax and reset my mind.
“We are fast here and that’s the important thing.”
Vinales went on to say that he didn’t believe his unusual rear tyre choice-being the only rider to opt for the hard compound rear-was to blame for his baffling lack of race speed, instead turning the spotlight to his M1’s lack of power in battle with his Suzuki and Ducati rivals- declaring it would be “difficult to fight for a championship like this.”
“I don’t know (if hard rear was correct choice), we were really fast all weekend with the soft, medium or hard so it didn’t matter about the tyre I was fast enough to be in front and to battle for the win, at the end of the race I did 3 or 4 fast laps but it was too late, I’m just very disappointed,” added the seven-time MotoGP victor.
“The trouble is with our bike you cannot fight against the others because they overtake you on the straight, and then they block all your corner speed so then you can do nothing.
“It was impossible to fight against the Suzuki and Ducati today because I couldn’t overtake, the only way I could get them was by being really on the limit in the fast corners, risking losing the front so it’s difficult to fight for a championship like this.”