Vinales: ‘Suddenly I lost all the grip, our bike destroyed the tyres’

Maverick Vinales looked on course to claim his first MotoGP win as an Aprilia rider before hitting tyre problems at Mandalika.
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia MotoGP Mandalika 2023
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia MotoGP Mandalika 2023

Vinales made a brilliant start from second as he led the 13-lap race coming out of turn two.

But the Spaniard, who increased his lead over Luca Marini to one second during the early stages, soon ran into tyre degradation issues.

Vinales’ pace fell off a cliff after seven laps as Jorge Martin, Marini and eventually Marco Bezzecchi all came through before the checkered flag was waved.

“Really proud of my team but we know that we need a little bit more in terms of performance,” added Vinales. “You could see at the beginning of the race, pulling one second and leading well the race but then suddenly my tyre was gone. 

“I could not do anything else but arrive to the box. I could not fight back. We are trying, trying very hard. 

“I don’t think it was the tyres, I think it’s about our bike that destroys the tyres. 

“We need to understand why for tomorrow. At the beginning of the race I was riding conservatively and suddenly I lost all the grip. 

“There is nothing to complain [about]. We were leading, fighting, but we move on.”

Vinales has been extremely fast all weekend, as has factory Aprilia teammate Aleix Espargaro.

But when it came to pace late on, Ducati still held the advantage as Martin went on to win his fourth consecutive sprint race.

Vinales said his tyres began to drop off even before mid-race distance had arrived. 

“With six laps to go,” said Vinales. “It was very early. I never had that during the whole weekend. 

“It’s pretty curious because we never had this degradation. It was sudden and when I entered [the corner] it was gone.”

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