Maverick Viñales labelled Sunday’s MotoGP outing at Aragon as “the worst race in my time with Yamaha,” stating the M1’s performance was the least competitive he has known as he slipped and slid to a distant tenth place.

The former Moto3 world champion was circulating as low as 18th in the early laps after his team performed a radical set-up change ahead of the 23-lap race, which meant, “there was not one area that was working OK.”

Despite making his way through a number of riders to place tenth at the chequered flag, six seconds behind team-mate and first Yamaha finisher Valentino Rossi, there were no positives to extract from another desperately disappointing weekend.

“Well, honestly it was the worst race in my time at Yamaha, and the worst performance of the bike,” began Viñales. “The feeling was worse on the bike. I can’t say really precise comments because every area was working bad.



“There was not one area that was working OK. I wasn’t comparing myself to factory bikes; I was comparing myself to non-factory bikes, that were even better than me. Honestly.

“I rode a very different bike from yesterday. I tried to try something. I tried to go a little bit higher on the weight balance, trying to put more pressure on the tyres to get grip. But it seems it didn’t work. It was honestly a complete disaster. The corner speed in the last laps, it was spinning around all the track.

“I’m really disappointed with this weekend and Misano. I had really good speed at the test, but since Misano it seems we have gone backwards rather than forwards. There’s not much say – just try to forget this race, go home, relax, concentrate and try again at Buriram.”

Were there any positives to draw from another weekend that underscored Yamaha’s malaise? “No. Honestly no. I was quite positive after FP4 because I felt really good but the bike seems to work worse in the race. I try to be the best I can – even in the middle of the race I tried to push and push, just to see if I would crash.

“Then I started to lose so much the bike, lose the rear tyre so early that there was nothing. I had Valentino in front. I tried to catch him. I caught him a little bit but then I couldn’t. As I said, not much to say. Just trying to clear our mind, get focused again and see what happens in Buriram.”

The performance across the weekend was such that Viñales stated he is no longer holding out for decent results. “No, for sure I have no targets,” he said. “I lost the targets, we lost the targets just as we came here in 2017. For sure there is a lot of work to do before we can look at the targets we had in 2017.”

So what can he aim for in the final five races? “Well, I try to focus first of all to go directly to Q2 because it seems to be difficult in the last couple of races, and thinking of the race. I can’t think after one weekend that I can win because it’s not true. I give myself false expectations.

“I need to realise that the bike is not where I am. To make the bike work a little bit better is the only way. Today we made it work a little bit worse because we were trying to discover new areas but it’s like this. The target to win was lost many races ago and we have to be trying first of all in Q2 and then let’s see.”

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