Maverick Vinales feels he’s closing in on returning to the top step of the podium for Monster Yamaha but a surprise drop in grip during the early part of the race saw him lose too much ground to Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo at Misano.

After producing the ideal getaway from pole position, Vinales dropped down to third place on the fourth lap and blamed a surprise loss of grip between Lap 3 and Lap 8 with his Yamaha which forced him into altering his riding style to rediscover a firm feeling.

The tweaks paid off as he quickly began to eat into the time deficit to Quartararo and Marquez with a lighter fuel load but while pushing to close the gap he suffered a hairy moment at Turn 10 which left him having to settle for third place.

“With three laps to go I saw 1.4s and I was risking everything but I lost the front at Turn 10 and I lost a lot, it was 1.8s,” Vinales said. “I finished 1.6s but the [main] problem was Lap 3 to Lap 8 as I didn’t have grip. I started to ride in a different way and I found a little bit more grip being more gentle on the bike but still we have to improve the bike.

“We are calm and we know that we will get the chance to fight for the victory again so we are building that character during the weekend. It is working, the last two races we were very close to the top so the moment will arrive.

“If not for losing that grip I think we would be able to fight for the race so that is the important point. We are still working on it and at tracks where we suffer we are now suffering a little bit less. That is the important point.

“Yamaha is improving. Second, third, fourth and fifth in that race when normally we struggle a lot in the past two years so it is a great thing for us.”

Despite his frustrations Vinales feels securing his fourth podium in six races, including his victory at Assen, proves he’s discovered greater consistency with his Yamaha as he cements his place as the leading Iwata factory rider. Vinales remains fifth in the overall standings and is now five points ahead of team-mate Rossi.

“We are getting closer and consistency is the most important as the objective was to be on the podium,” he said. “I lost a little bit on the front, especially on Lap 2, 3 and 4 as I lost the front in many places and also the rear. I decided to stay calm and try to understand which was the limit today and that was the limit.

“Four podiums in the last six races is very important for us, a track where I normally struggle as there is very low grip. All Yamahas are improving. But we have to make the difference, we have to keep pushing to be in the top spot.”

 

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