Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales blamed his failed bid for victory in the Aragon Grand Prix on his M1 feeling inconsistent with Michelin’s soft compound tyres across the race distance.
Starting from second, Vinales soon found himself leading after making a lightning start to pass pole-man Fabio Quartararo, though Suzuki’s Alex Rins soon posed a threat.
Vinales looked to have run into early grip problems-having elected for an softs front and rear strategy- as Rins drove clean up the inside of the factory Yamaha at the final turn, with the second GSX-RR of Joan Mir as well as Honda’s Alex Marquez dumping him off the podium around mid-distance.
While finding speed in the closing laps and catching back up to Mir, the Spaniard rued that “it was difficult to keep the rhythm” throughout the 23-lap encounter, citing grip problems with his rear tyre in particular as a reason for his early struggles.
“I’m quite satisfied because we made a good start and got the lead, the problem was we had a big drop on the edge of the rear tyre which meant I was passed by the Suzuki’s at the same place on different laps, and then it was difficult to keep the rhythm,” explained Vinales.
“At the end of the race I was the guy that was lapping faster and faster, so we need to work out why.
“We are always very strong at the second races (of the double-header events), like at Misano we’ll try and be fast and consistent.”
Vinales reckons “a big step” is possible for Yamaha heading into this weekend’s second Aragon event, highlighting making the M1 “more consistent” over a race distance, while also playing up his chances over the final three rounds of the season at Valencia and Portimao.
“We can make a big step for sure and we’ll try and make the bike more consistent with the tyres, to improve the race set-up,” added Vinales.
“Over one lap I know what I need to do to get into the 1:46’s, it’ll be very important to be on the front row again and then to make another strong start.
“It’s difficult to win the championship but we have nothing to lose, this is a good mentality to have and this track is good for me as is Valencia, and I think Portimao will be good too so we just need to make the most of the strong points of the Yamaha in order to come back strong next week.”
The eight-time premier class victor heads into the Teurel GP just 12 points away from series leader Mir following an inconsistent campaign that has seen him score only three rostrums from 10 starts-though only Mir has a better record in this regard-with a sole win coming in the Emilia Romagna GP at Misano.
Quartararo remains runner-up in the standings six points clear of Vinales following his dismal 18th place showing in the opening Aragon contest, while Andrea Dovizioso sits just three points back in fourth overall.