Vinales, Rossi play down qualifying spat

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

Maverick Vinales said there was no ill will between him and his Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi after the pair clashed during qualifying at Austin.

Vinales was seen shaking his fist at Rossi after catching him on the inside of Turn 19 early in qualifying, after the Spaniard was forced wider and had to back off.

After qualifying both riders sought to play down the incident, with Vinales saying there was “no bad feelings between me and Valentino".

"This is a normal thing that can happen, I'm not complaining," he added.

"It can happen to me as well, maybe one day I'm in the middle.

"I was coming on a good lap, Valentino didn't see me and started his lap.

"It can happen with Valentino, with many other riders, because when you're coming on a good lap, you're trying to finish it.

"There was a lot of people there in sector three [at the time].

"I was just angry because I was on a lap, riders get angry when you cannot finish your lap."



Championship leader Vinales, who is unbeaten this season after two rounds qualified in second on the grid, 0.130 seconds behind Honda's Marc Marquez. Rossi was 0.8 seconds behind Vinales in third

Rossi said later he had not seen Vinales behind him.

"We didn't touch, because I didn't feel anything," he said.

"But after the line I saw Maverick say something to me and I thought, ''f**k, what's happened?' I didn't know.

"Maybe the problem was that a lot of riders pushed on the outlap and when you arrive close to the final sector slow down to make a lap behind them.

"Maybe I slowed down, but I didn't see Maverick."

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