Maverick Vinales feels he has made amends for losing out to Marc Marquez at last weekend’s Australian MotoGP by beating the Repsol Honda rider at Sepang learning having altered his race strategy.

The Monster Yamaha rider has claimed his and the Iwata factory’s second victory of the year with a dominant display during the Malaysian MotoGP having taken the lead on the opening lap before bolting clear of his rivals to win by three seconds from Marquez.

While Vinales was surprised to see Marquez move up to second place by Lap 3, with the reigning MotoGP world champion starting the race down in 11th place, the Yamaha rider had already pulled out a one-second gap which helped him keep out of reach of the eight-time world champion.

Measuring his impressive race pace, Vinales duly secured victory to add to his triumph back at Assen, with the Spanish rider feeling redemption after crashing on the final lap while battling Marquez for victory at Phillip Island.

“This time I kept a little bit in the pocket just in case Marc came back,” Vinales said. “Honestly I am very happy because we managed the weekend very good and finally I started good in the first laps and I was there.

“For many races I have been trying to fight for the victory and today I had the chance and I did it so I have to say congratulations to all the team, to Yamaha and all the people who always support me. We trusted the bike a lot to get the victory and today we did it.”

Having enjoyed a resurgent second half to his 2019 MotoGP campaign, Vinales put performance gains down to focusing on adjusting himself to a stable M1 base package rather than continuing with experiments during race weekends.

Yamaha has recently rolled out its new carbon swingarm and Suzuki-style double exhaust but Vinales has primarily stuck to the aluminium swingarm and standard exhaust.

“When you work on the factory bike you need to try many things to develop the bike during the season,” he explained.

“So it is always very complicated to keep one bike the same and trying to improve yourself. So since halfway through the season I kept the same bike and tried to improve myself.

“Even if there were new items I kept the same bike and tried to be at the best level. That’s what we did, understanding the bike better.”

Vinales has duly moved up to third place in the MotoGP riders’ standings and holds a seven-point advantage over Suzuki’s Alex Rins going into the final round in Valencia.

Aside from champion Marquez, Vinales has notched up the highest points tally (116) since the summer break with the highlight of his victory at Sepang coupled with rostrums at Silverstone, Misano and Buriram.

 

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