Maverick Vinales says key changes to his riding style along with Monster Yamaha’s grip fixes were vital for his charge to a first pole position since the 2019 opening round.

The factory Yamaha rider saw off surprise package Pol Espargaro on the Red Bull KTM to take his first pole since the Qatar round having demonstrated impressive practice pace after topping Friday’s combined times.

Vinales has often been a rider to suffer the most when track conditions turn hot and slippery, as proved the case at Misano, but instead he charged to top spot with relatively few issues in qualifying.

The Spaniard has put this turnaround down to improvements from Yamaha on its previous traction and grip troubles while he’s also tweaked his riding style to further exploit the strong points of his YZR-M1.

“I am really happy because from Friday I felt really good and somehow I found a better feeling than I had at the test so I can hit very good lap times even with very used tyres,” Vinales said. “I am excited for tomorrow and I think we have approached the weekend in a really good way.

“We are doing good steps and I think we have improved our riding style a lot on the bike, that is the improvement on track.

“Somehow even in slippery conditions we have created a good corner speed and I think that is why we are very fast. We will try to push from the first lap and then we will see. But we are ready to fight until the end, the important objective is to fight for the victory.

“I worked very hard with my father at home trying to be better on the bike because the bike is the same so I needed to improve to make a next step if I wanted to be at the front. I worked very hard at home trying to work on weight balance and to see what I needed to be fast.

“Somehow it worked so I am really happy with all the hard work that we did as we spent a lot of days on the bike so I was very happy already from FP1 as I saw an improvement from my second lap so I was very, very happy.”

Vinales last started from the front row in Germany, which he converted into a second place podium behind winner Marc Marquez, while in his previous MotoGP race win at Assen he also started from the front row in second place.

But from his previous pole position in Qatar Vinales struggled in the race and finished a lowly seventh place.

 

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