Maverick Vinales 'misunderstood' what penalty to serve after jump start

Maverick Vinales says he “misunderstood” what penalty he had to serve for jumping the start of the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix, after mistakenly taking the long lap.

Vinales was handed a ride-through penalty having been deemed to have jumped the start, but thought he had to take the new-for-2019 long lap instead. 

The Yamaha rider did so on lap seven while running inside the top eight, before taking his ride-through on the following tour. He recovered to finish 11th. 

Vinales knew a penalty would be coming is way, and admits he simply made a mistake having misunderstood jump start procedure following talks held in the Safety Commission in the wake of the Cal Crutchlow incident in Argentina. 

“I misunderstood the penalty a little, but anyway, besides the mistake, it was a good race weekend for us here,” Vinales said.

“I already knew there was a chance I would get a penalty, and that's just the way it is. At first I thought I had to do a long lap. 

“But then I saw the 'ride through' [message] and thought 'OK, I have to do this'.”

Vinales says his slight movement at the start was caused by the bike getting a “bit hotter” while sat on the grid and the clutch engaging as a result. 

“I made a mistake at the start,” Vinales, who is now 40 points adrift of the championship lead, added. 

“I was starting really well all weekend. In the race I tried to do the same, but on the grid the bike got a bit hotter and the clutch engaged and the bike started running.

“It's a shame, because I felt really good during the race. The good thing was that the bike was working really well. 

“We had a good set-up for the race. We need to keep working and find the best system for the start. 

“The start was actually good, as in that I didn't lose any positions, and I tried to overtake some riders.”