Vinales: Worn tyres, poor start cost us

MotoGP Suzuki rider Maverick Viñales says a poor start plus worn tyres were the reason he only finished in sixth place at Mugello on Sunday after starting on the front of the grid.

The 21-year-old Spaniard had looked very fast in Mugello in the free practice sessions and in qualifying, where he finished second in Q2, 0.094s behind Valentino Rossi on his Movistar Yamaha in pole position.

At the start of Sunday’s face on the front of the grid, Viñales had issues from the start, losing positions to end up 11th. He worked hard to climb back up to sixth but after pushing the bike hard, he was unable to catch the leaders due to excessive tyre wear.

He ended the race in sixth position which was won by Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.

In an interview afterwards with the official MotoGP site, Viñales blamed a poor start and lack of acceleration for his poor race.

“I’m very disappointed with the race, we did really well the whole weekend and finally we couldn’t get the deserved result,” said Viñales.

“I really had the feeling we could fight for the podium; both in practice and in warm up I felt very comfortable and confident for a good race.

“Unfortunately, all the problems came from the start: I had a good jump, but then when it came to putting it into fourth gear something went wrong with the bike’s acceleration and this made me lose so many positions.

“Then the problem disappeared and everything was working fine for the rest of the race, but because I was behind so many riders, and I had to push very hard to recover, this destroyed the tyres, which were finally too worn to get closer.

“It’s a shame because according to the timesheets my pace was as good as the leaders, so this meant that with a good start I could have fought for the podium, which I felt was achievable for us.

“It’s a pity, but now I need to revise the data with my engineers and understand what happened in order to fix it.”

The next stop for the Suzuki team and Viñales is a private testing session at Valencia, before going to Barcelona for the next round of MotoGP racing on June 5 at the Grand Prix of Catalunya.