So far, retired triple MotoGP champion and new Yamaha test rider Jorge Lorenzo has committed to one wild-card appearance this season, at his home Barcelona round on June 5-7.

But factory race team star Maverick Vinales hopes Lorenzo and Yamaha will use all three of the wild-cards allowed within the rules this season (concession teams Aprilia and KTM can have six).

Vinales feels Yamaha has suffered in the past by relying on data from post-race tests and the only way to accurately evaluate new parts is by putting them on track during a race weekend.

That would be a risky thing for any of the full-time riders to try, due to the lost track time if they needed to revert to the standard set-up. Hence the eagerness for Lorenzo to race as often as possible.

"Sometimes when we test things the mistake is that on the Monday [after a grand prix] all the Michelin rubber is on the track. So the lap times are very fast, there is always fantastic grip and so it's difficult to [evaluative] new parts," Vinales told the official MotoGP website.

"I think it's very important for Yamaha if Jorge makes, not just Montmelo, but more wild-cards. It will be really good because they will be able to test new items and really prove they work well during a race weekend."

Vinales is currently undergoing what he hopes will be a two-week recovery following a motocross training accident on March 12.

It would normally be a disastrous time to suffer an injury, but the delayed start to the season means the seven-time MotoGP race winner has at least another month before the new premier-class opener is scheduled to be held, at Jerez, from May 1-3.

The coronavirus outbreak has so far caused the cancellation of Qatar for the MotoGP class with the Thai, US and Argentinean rounds postponed until the end of the season.

"It is what it is. We cannot change the situation, it's the same for everyone," Vinales said.

He added: "We will do all the tracks so it doesn't matter [which event] we start at. For sure it will be a very busy year because what we lose now, we will recover at the end of the year.

"But normally I arrive in really good form at the end of the year anyway."

While he waits to be reunited with the 2020-spec M1 he took to the top of the timesheets during the final pre-season test in Qatar, Vinales has been working on his riding style with other machines.

"At the moment we are a bit on standby but we are training really hard and need to keep the intensity. My target is to arrive at the first race of the championship at my best level," he said.

"We are training on motocross, supermoto… trying to improve a few things that I can then do on the M1, including a little bit in the braking area where I have to be stronger.

"I can't wait to be on the M1 and racing because we prepared everything really well this year. So as soon as we race, we will be ready."

Vinales finished third in the 2019 MotoGP standings, behind Marc Marquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).

 

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