Maverick Vinales says without his Movistar Yamaha squad finding fixes to its acceleration issues ‘we don’t have any chance’ to fight the front-runners at the Austrian MotoGP this weekend.

With Yamaha bracing for a tough race weekend in Spielberg, its fears were realised in FP1 with all its riders struggling for pace compared to its Ducati and Honda rivals.



Vinales was narrowly edged by Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco for top Yamaha rider honours with the Frenchman a lowly ninth place while the Spaniard scraped into the provisional automatic Q2 spots in 10th following FP2’s wet weather running denying riders a chance to improve on their morning session times.

The Yamaha rider has pinpointed the base of his problem down to poor acceleration and power delivery from his YZR-M1 at the power-dependent Red Bull Ring track – as he ended FP1 over one second slower than timesheet-topper Andrea Dovizioso for Ducati.

“We still struggled with acceleration and at this track we have to sort it tomorrow,” Vinales said. “If not, we don’t have any chance.

“I don’t have any problems physically that irritate me as I can go 100%. So let’s see if we can improve in the right way tomorrow. It is going to be important to understand the right way to go.”

Vinales has also rebuffed the ‘long story’ which continues to follow him from Brno on his split from  crew chief Ramon Forcada at the end of this season.

The Spaniard confirmed in the Czech Republic he will stop working with Forcada after 2018 and start a new partnership with Esteban Garcia who is currently working as Bradley Smith’s crew chief at Red Bull KTM.

Despite the high-profile split, Vinales is certain both he, Forcada and his entire Yamaha crew are working at their peak and its lack of pace is caused by stuttering development from the Japanese manufacturer.

“This is too long, the story with Ramon,” he said. “It is okay, we are working well, the bike is not working but I don’t think it is in our hands right now.

“We are trying our best and also Ramon is trying his best every time so please it is done. For me it is normal and it should be normal.

“The problem we have is out of our box, not in our control, so we need to keep focused and pushing to see if we can solve these problems and if we are going to be ready to be at the front.”

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