Maverick Vinales: Jerez podium feels 'like a victory' for Yamaha
Maverick Vinales says his third-place finish in MotoGP's Spanish Grand Prix is akin to a victory, feeling that he has “recovered a lot of confidence” on his Yamaha.
Vinales has endured a tough start to 2019, with a best result of seventh in Qatar – where he was on pole – prior to Jerez, while Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi secured a brace of podiums.
The works Yamaha man remained in the lead group at the start of the Jerez race, and resisted late pressure from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso to hold onto his first podium since winning last year's Australian Grand Prix.
Vinales admits Jerez has always been a circuit he has “really struggled” at, and says his podium result is “very important”.
“I'm so happy about the start because it was the first objective to start good,” he said, having moved up a position from fifth.
“It's a shame about [the jump-start at] Austin, because I started also really good [there]. I moved a little bit [before the lights], but I think in Austin we were much more ready than here, it's a track I really like.
“Anyway, I'm really happy about this podium here at Jerez, it's a track I really struggled at all the years.
“To be on the podium here feels like a victory for me. Honestly, we recover a lot of confidence, especially with the front tyre. So it's very important.”
Vinales has struggled over the last year to be quick in the opening laps of races, and revealed he had adapted his approach in order to combat the weekend.
“I'm doing something different on the bike that gives me much more consistency at the start so I can be much more precise,” he said.
“And then about the bike, they [Yamaha] help me quite a lot. We need to keep working. We are working good, but still remains something [missing].
“So we need to try to find that [in the post-race test], but it was important to see where we are.
“It was important to be not so far from Alex [Rins] and from Marc [Marquez] at the end.
“So we need to keep working, keeping thinking that the most important thing right now is to be on the podium constantly.”
Vinales says traction is still an area which needs to be improved on the M1, but revealed it was “less” of a problem at Jerez than it has been, and will work on finding mechanical grip to solve the issue in Monday's test.
“I have to improve on the traction area, it's very important. I felt there we lose a lot compared to our competitors, especially in the race.
“But today was less than the other tracks, so for that I'm very pleased. For it's not about the electronics.
“The electronics, we are quite on the pace. I think tomorrow we have to work on the engine brake, because I am really sensitive on that. And then traction by mechanical grip.”