MotoGP is back in 2021! The first of two official tests in Qatar draws to a close, with Monster Energy Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales completing his second full day of running to finish seventh.

His new team-mate for the 2021 season Fabio Quartararo was fastest for the Japanese manufacturer, with the pair largely focusing on different components of the bike over the two days. 

Unlike Quartararo and even new Petronas Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, Vinales did not elect to try the 2021 M1's new chassis that was available, and instead kept the 'old package' with just a 'few general things' added to his second bike. 

The approach for Vinales this season is adding consistency to his riding in the races, as speed has never been an issue. Vinales was happy with the test overall saying: "Well, I think I'm really happy and pleased about the test. Honestly speaking, it has been very positive. Yamaha has been working really good, honestly.

"We concentrated a lot on the rhythm, which for me felt fantastic. I was surprised and happy how the consistency was there, especially on the tyres.

"At the end of the day we had five or six laps which for us is fantastic, it's what we were looking for. So we are very pleased about the test, I am very happy, and I can't wait to get back on the bike and try to improve."

One of the keys for that to happen, will be to find a better setup from the beginning of races on a full fuel tank which has been the main issue over the last two seasons for the Spanish rider.

So far, the work Yamaha have put in over the winter months has been a positive in Vinales' eyes, as he continues to work on the early race laps. 

Vinales added: "For sure! For sure! I'm working very hard for the race. We are trying to improve this weak point, we know we have the speed, we know we can do one lap, we know we can be amazing in one lap. But we are not amazing in the first laps of the race, and not even at the start. So these are the points we are working very hard.

"For sure, maybe my position today could be much better and also I could ride faster, but I'm really happy and pleased about the feeling that I get from the bike to get the rhythm.

"So we'll see in the next test. For sure we will need to do a time attack in the next test to see how everything is working, but overall the general feeling, I can say that I am very happy about the work that Yamaha has done during the winter."

With Vinales choosing to not to test out the new chassis yet compared to other Yamaha riders, it meant the focus was about building up the feeling on the bike and also working hard on the electronics side of the 2021 M1. 

Speaking in his post test media debrief about what he did and did not test, Vinales said: "Actually we didn't work yet with the new chassis. We just had the old package and a few general things in the second bike. I concentrated a lot on my riding style.

"We worked with the electronics quite a lot. So we saw many interesting things, that's why I'm positive, because I saw many interesting things on riding style.

"So I'm very pleased with the test and so happy, and I can't wait to be back on the bike and to get good lap times. Honestly speaking I was quite surprised that in the middle of the day I could ride in the 1'54s.

"This makes me always very positive, because the grip was not that good, but I could ride pretty fast."

 

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