Maverick Vinales says he “wants a reaction” from Yamaha to cure his grip woes in races, after struggling in last weekend’s MotoGP San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.
The Yamaha rider smashed the circuit lap record to claim pole and was expected to be a main threat for victory following a strong set of practice sessions.
But he quickly dropped out of the podium battle in the race, remarking that he was merely “a cone on the track for the other riders” before his pace began to improve in the second half – although he still ended up 5.3 seconds behind Yamaha-mounted winner Franco Morbidelli in sixth.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna GP at the same track, Vinales brushed off speculation that his choice to run the hard rear tyre – the only rider to do so – played a part.
He topped the Tuesday test at Misano and later branded it his “best test of the year”, but said he knew this would be the case owing to the excess of Michelin rubber on track, so urged Yamaha to find a solution to provide him with the same feeling when riding on marbles left by Moto2 Dunlop rubber on Sundays.
When asked by Autosport how he will approach this weekend, Vinales replied: “I need to be quicker, so then the damage is less.
“If I’m a bit quicker in the practices, I’ll be a bit quicker in the race so we will try our maximum.
“For sure it’s not an easy point for us because we suffer a lot all the time on that, but I want a reaction from Yamaha.
“I want them to provide me with the best, because we came from Saturday to make a lap record in qualifying, from being a beast on track, and then we were a little kitty on the track.
“It’s something strange. I take it with humour because it’s the only thing I can do.
“On the test I felt good, honestly I felt incredible of the bike.
“We rode fast because at the end of the day I rode in 1m32s low with a lot of laps on the tyre as the rhythm, which is good.
“But as we know, when there is Michelin rubber, there is good grip, I can do whatever I want with the bike.
“But when there is no grip, it is difficult to ride.”
Vinales tested a new exhaust and carbon fibre swingarm on Tuesday, as well as some suspension settings, and confirmed he will run both the exhaust and swingarm this weekend.
Team-mate Valentino Rossi says it is also in his plan to evaluate the new parts again this weekend.
“Tomorrow I will start with a bike very similar to last weekend, but yes it’s also in my plan to use [the new exhaust and swingarm],” Rossi said.
“We have [a] different swingarm and the pipe.
“For sure If I use the pipe you will see, because it’s very big. But for us, it’s in the programme to try during the weekend.”