Maverick Viñales’ patience has started to wear, as the Catalan called for changes to the working methods in his side of the garage after another lacklustre MotoGP showing at Le Mans resulted in a distance seventh place, some 18 seconds back of his team-mate. “Even worse than Jerez,” he said.

Resolute in the face of trouble in recent weeks, Viñales wore a scowl throughout his dealings with the press on Sunday evening, barely able to conceal his fury at another race that had got away at a track that has suited Yamaha’s M1 in recent years.

The first half of the French Grand Prix was “horrible,” Viñales said, as issues with rear grip were apparent throughout. Only in the race’s final third did he begin to progress up the order. This, however, was not due to bike performance improving. “I improved because I was trying to crash in every corner,” came his astonishing admission soon after.

Valentino Rossi’s podium finish was a result of “working much better through all the weekend,” according to Viñales, whose comments suggested the methods on his side of the garage needed altering ahead of a critical run of races, starting at Mugello in under a fortnight’s time.



“I improved [in the second half of the race] because I was trying to crash in every corner of the track. I only improved for that reason,” said a frustrated Catalan. “I don't want to finish the race seventh, I want to finish the race in the top, so I didn't care if I crashed or not.

“I was trying to do my best. The first part of the race was horrible, I don't understand why, but I could not accelerate, and many riders overtook me, especially on the beginning of the acceleration.

“But anyway, things are not working well, and we have to change something, to make it work. Let's see what we can do for the next race. Now we have a test in Montmelo, I hope we can feel a little bit better, and for sure we want to try to solve these problems.”

Asked to expand on the issues he faced through the race, Viñales claimed it felt as though he had stared the race with used tyres, such were the grip issues he encountered in the early laps.

“It's the same as last year, but even worse now,” he said. “I don't know if you wrote anything about this last year, but it's the same. I had no grip on the rear tyre, it's impossible to do something.

“In the morning, for example in FP3, I have good grip and at least I can maintain 1'32 low, make a good lap time without stressing too much. But in the race that was totally impossible. Looks like I started with used tyres.

“This is my feeling. So very strange feelings and that's why I'm telling them that we have to change something, because we are not working in the best way.”

Could the excess of Dunlop rubber laid down in the earlier Moto2 and Moto3 races be a factor? “Yes, a little bit,” he said. “But that's not an excuse, the rest also have the same conditions.

“Things are not in the right place, so first of all we have to put things in the right place and then start to think again about improving the bike. I felt really bad on the bike, and every race it's getting worse. I was hoping here for a good race, but for me it was even worse than Jerez.”

Pressed on the differences between Rossi’s weekend and his own, Viñales answer suggested he is keen to shake up the working methods within his garage, or possible even more. “I think they [Rossi’s crew] work much better through all the weekend, and also in that we can improve to work better, and make a better bike for the race.”

Viñales and Rossi now travel to Montmeló for a two-day test on a resurfaced track. But the 23-year old isn’t expecting to receive or test any new parts that will aid his cause.

“No nothing new, nothing new,” he said. “Just the same. I don't know. Mugello last year was also a really good track for us, but this year I don't believe it, so let's see. Let's see. As I started here with an open mind, trying to forget this race, and then do it again, as always.”


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