Maverick Vinales says he never thought victory was achievable this season on the Suzuki as the young Spanish prospect obliterated the opposition to win the British round of the MotoGP World Championship at Silverstone.
The 21-year-old became the first rider to win a premier class race for Suzuki in full dry conditions since Kenny Roberts Jnr. in 2000, disappearing into the distance on the GSX-RR and pulling away to win by 3.4 seconds from Britain's Cal Crutchlow.
Vinales, who will join Valentino Rossi in the factory Yamaha squad for 2017, said his maiden MotoGP triumph was the undoubted highlight of his career to date.
“For sure, it is the best moment and also I didn't think this year I could do it – I was just thinking on next year to try to do it. Honestly, I'm so happy and to do it for the team before I leave Suzuki is one of the best things I could give to them,” he said.
“With the team we were trying to make many laps on that hard tyre and I need to thank to them because the bike was working perfect. I was feeling great and already in the first race I pushed after the third corner and already I could feel that I was breaking a little bit the riders that came from the back.”
Asked if his performance on the Suzuki at Silverstone had made him question his decision to join Yamaha next season, Vinales said: “Honestly I didn't change my mind and when I make one decision I am 100 per-cent and we worked so hard on Friday to have one bike that conserved the tyre until the end and also in Brno we did one step in that way.
“Today I was feeling great and I was so confident on the front. We did a really good strategy with the electronics and the bike was keeping really good with the tyre and I hope it can continue even when the ground is hot.”
Vinales had shot into the lead of the race and was beginning to make a break for it when the red flag came out after an incident involving Pol Espargaro and Loris Baz. However, he appeared undaunted by the restart and repeated the trick to assert his authority in the early stages before streaking away at the front.
“For us it was difficult because many riders put a new tyre and for us, we keep the same tyres. Today I think we were riding perfect and thanks to the team because the key was yesterday in qualifying practice when they put all the effort to give me one bike on the rain to try to be in the front and this front row was the key today so that I could do what I did.
“It's so great and I'm so grateful for the team – they deserve everything because they are working so hard all the time, also from Japan. I just can say that I want more and I want also to try to be on the top in the next races and try to fight until the end. Now, we catch the plane and try to do it again.”
Vinales has moved into fourth place in the points table, 21 points behind Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo in third.