Maverick Vinales: Hard tyre was only chance for strong result
Maverick Vinales reckons that choosing the hard compound tyre was the only way he could achieve a strong result in the German GP at the Sachsenring.
The Yamaha rider spent most of the race trying to fend off LCR’s Cal Crutchlow for third place, which became the fight for second after Alex Rins crashed his Suzuki GSX-RR at the Waterfall with 11 of the 30 laps remaining.
He was ultimately able to hold off the Brit after his rival made an error at Turn 10 on the penultimate lap, securing the runner-up spot and his second successive podium following his Assen victory last weekend.
The Spaniard revealed that he had struggled with the medium compound Michelin tyre during Friday practice, complaining of having “no edge grip”, and that utilising the harder tyre was a necessity for a strong result.
“I tried to be really fast in the beginning because I knew with the hard it would be so difficult at the end, but it was the only chance we had as I tried the medium this morning but I had no edge grip,” explained Vinales.
“I chose the hard and in the beginning I was really good, I was really excited as the grip level was so high and I thought I could battle with Marc [Marquez], I was just waiting there but lap by lap I was losing grip, but the second place is amazing.
“We need to understand what we did well in these last couple of weekends as we were the top Yamaha on the podium, to finish the first half of the year with a first and second is amazing.
“I think in Barcelona if we didn’t have the problem (taken out by Lorenzo) it would have been three podiums in a row so it means that we are improving and getting there, we are still missing many parts.
“I think the grip level today was much less than Friday but I’m really happy because I was really worried about Cal because I heard his bike all of the last 20 laps and never knew if he was going to overtake me.
“I tried to save the tyre and ride well, I made a couple of mistakes but I’m really happy the championship has turned around well and we are getting good results.”
Vinales has now launched himself into fifth in the rider’s standings, five points ahead of struggling team-mate Valentino Rossi, following a tough opening part of the season that saw him fail to register a top six finish until the fourth round of the year at Jerez.
He reckons that another strong result will be possible at MotoGP's next stop at Brno, a traditionally good circuit for the Yamaha M1 machine despite only scoring a solitary victory there since 2010.
“Brno is a really good track for us, so I hope to improve myself over the summer break and see if I can come back stronger and get Yamaha more podiums in the second half of the season.”