Maverick Vinales emphasises qualifying importance with ‘difficult to overtake on’ Yamaha

Maverick Vinales is fully focused on maintaining his strong qualifying record this season over fears the Yamaha will be left vulnerable further down the pack
Maverick Vinales , Catalunya MotoGP. 24 September 2020
Maverick Vinales , Catalunya MotoGP. 24 September 2020
© Gold and Goose Photography

Maverick Vinales has reiterated the importance of maintaining Yamaha’s strong qualifying record this season due to the M1’s vulnerability during early laps in the pack.

Vinales gave his 2020 MotoGP title hopes an important shot in the arm last time out at Misano with his first win of the season, while the Yamaha factory rider also has the best qualifying form of 2020 so far with three pole positions in the last four races.

Though his pole-to-win success rate has fluctuated, Vinales accepts it is especially important for him to get his Saturdays right because the Yamaha - with its focus on corner speed over straight-line performance - puts it at a disadvantage if left mired in the pack.

“Our main priority is to start on the front row because you can take the lead,” he said. “Sometimes we struggle - in the last race maybe I was able to close the gap to Pecco [Bagnaia] but I don’t know if I was able to overtake.

“It is always difficult to overtake, especially on tracks that don’t have two or three corners in a row to prepare the overtaking but now I am focusing on the strong points of the bike, which I used to overtake Jack [Miller] on the first lap, so I am understanding the bike. 

“If you have a bad qualifying it is hard to gain room to make the pass on riders, so I want to concentrate on sectors two and three to see where we can overtake and be strong.”

Just one point behind leader Andrea Dovizioso following his Misano win, Vinales says he is waiting in anticipation for the next few rounds in Le Mans, Aragon and Valencia which he believes will see him come on strong.

“The championship will be open until the last two races so we will see, we will try to be smart and consistent and to keep building and growing. 

“We need to build another good weekend, then we have tracks that I love - Le Mans, Aragon and Valencia. Montmelo is for me a track we need to take the maximum.”

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