Yesterday he was happy and satisfied, today he was disappointed and heartbroken. When something goes wrong, it takes very little to figure it out. In fact, all you have to do is look at Maverick Vinales’ face. He’s one of those riders who hardly keeps his moods to himself.
Saturday in Portimao left a bad taste in the Yamaha rider’s mouth, when he was forced to deal with an 8th place, eight tenths from the top. Maverick doesn’t feel like talking, also because he seems to have ended up in a tunnel, where he doesn’t really see the way out.
“I don’t really know what to say,” he began. “We worked on the tires to make the right choice but, in the end, this Saturday was a disaster. During the race weekends, I can’t improve. In the FP1s and FP2s, we were strong. Then, today, you know how it went. I’m really sorry but, at this point, I have to change my expectations. I’ve always been a rider with a winning mentality but, unfortunately, it’s impossible to think of success in this situation.”
Talking to Maverick almost seems like we want to rub it in his face.
“I got on the bike today, I tried to push, but the M1 wasn’t working. Ask Yamaha what the problems are. Honestly speaking, I’m sick of repeating the same things over and over. I don’t want to make excuses but, at some point, talking is useless, also because we don’t have the solutions we need. It’s not easy for me, even if I try to stay calm and try to be positive.”
So are some changes needed on the team?
“I don’t know. In the last few races, the number of people who worked with us was reduced and people were missing. First, there was Patrick, the Ohlins technician, who made an important contribution, as well as a Japanese engineer. I honestly don’t know what will change in the future. Talk to Yamaha.”
Finally, he talked about the tires.
“We’ll see what we have to do. The fact is that, with this bike, you go from one race to another, changing tires, and you end up with the difference of a second. And all this then affects your confidence.”