Vinales dominated the opening night of the championship in Qatar for his ninth MotoGP victory, but hasn’t troubled the podium since and suffered his worst-ever weekend in Germany when he qualified 21st and finished last.
Yamaha made changes to his personnel in Barcelona, replacing crew chief Esteban Garcia with ex-Valentino Rossi ally Silvano Galbusera – his third crew chief since 2017.
After the Germany race Vinales snapped at his Yamaha team, claiming how it has handled his situation is becoming “disrespectful” as he seems to only be a rider gathering data now.
This is in stark contrast to his team-mate Fabio Quartararo, who has won three times in 2021 and leads the standings by 21 points, with Vinales trailing him by 56 points.
Ahead of this weekend’s Dutch TT, Vinales’ mood hasn’t changed since the Sachsenring and is at a loss to explain his current woes.
“Honestly, it’s not that I’m not happy, I just feel very disrespected for me as a rider because I’ve never been in this position before,” he said when asked by Autosport if he was still happy as a Yamaha rider.
“To finish last one race, I don’t remember any race in my life since I’m a kid. So, basically it’s for that why I am upset.
“The way the things are going is I don’t understand, and after that I don’t really know.
“The problem is that every time I try to find a solution [from Yamaha], the answer is the same – ‘I don’t know’.
“So, we need a little bit more and we will try to find something more because we have many problems.
“For me what is strange is Qatar 1, this is very strange, how I can be with that superiority over the rest and then everything is gone.
“I went from first to last. Maybe here I can be first again.
“It’s pretty strange and as a rider it’s so complicated to keep the motivation.
“For sure I’ve given up many times with this because I really don’t understand this. I really try to work, try to work smart, calm. In the end the answer is ‘I don’t know’. So, we start to accept that at the end we don’t know what is going on.
“I’m always asking the same, like why in Qatar the bike was working acceptable and now it’s in this position. So, it’s pretty strange and difficult to accept.”
Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Vinales hit back at suggestions he needed to try Quartararo’s settings after his tough German GP, but admits this weekend in Assen he will “do exactly” what his team-mate does with his bike.
He also doesn’t believe the disrespect he feels is related to Quartararo’s performances, adding: “For sure my solution will be put the same bike as Fabio, exactly the same: same electronics, same clicks, same suspension, same everything and see what is going on because in the end we understand nothing.
“So here in Assen I will do exactly everything [the same as Fabio] and then we will see where we are.
“But it should not be like this, it should be that you try, you find your set-up, you try to make the bike your riding style, but in this team I always follow the rest.
“It’s like this and I’m forced to do it because I cannot keep going in this way, losing time, wasting time.
“In Germany I crashed without a reason, without banking, without pushing the front brake.
“This weekend I will try. If he [Quartararo] puts a stronger suspension, more pre-load, I will do the same.
“I need to adapt, it’s true, maybe [it will] take [some] races. But at least I race with the same as the other guy in the garage.”