'Even if I have no grip I'm fast'- Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales was left frustrated by ongoing traction issues early on in the Thailand Grand Prix that cost him yet another shot at victory.
The Yamaha man crossed the line third, just 1.3 seconds behind the battling Honda of Marc Marquez and fellow M1 rider Fabio Quartararo.
Vinales has made somewhat of the habit in recent races of losing time early on before coming back strong during the closing stages and closing on the leading battle.
At Silverstone he closed to within a second of the lead to finish third, while at Misano he took the chequered flag just 1.6 away from winner Marquez-again in third.
Vinales was at least satisfied that even while struggling he is able to display top three contending pace, but ratified that he needs to be able to translate his late-race speed to the start as well if he wants to add to his sole 2019 victory in the Dutch TT at Assen.
“I’m pleased because I did the best I could, I don’t know why I suffered with bad traction from the beginning and I couldn’t hit good lap times in the early part of the race,” explained Vinales.
“This morning (in warm-up) my pace was superb, so we need to keep learning and find out what the problem is because I had the same thing in Misano and throughout the year so we need to understand why I lose at the start.”
Vinales is confident that he and Yamaha will eventually cure his early race troubles, and is focussed on gunning for third place in the overall rider’s standings having closed to within just four points of Alex Rins who currently resides in the position.
“This is the only problem because across the rest of the race I’m very fast, we are always recovering a second or so to the top places,” added Vinales.
“Over the last races Marc (Marquez), myself and Fabio (Quartararo) have been able to do more than the rest and it’s important to be there, we’ve made some good ground on third in the championship so we’ve got an objective to focus on going forward.
“I’m very confident because even if I have no grip I’m fast, which means a lot so we just need to try and prepare well for Japan.
“I want to work in a better way and we have to find a better way with the bike, in practice the grip felt amazing and then in the race I lost confidence compared to what I had during practice.”