Maverick Vinales insists he didn't ask for the surprise change of crew chief between the Mugello and Catalunya MotoGPs.

However, he trusts Yamaha's decision to replace Esteban Garcia with Silvano Galbusera in order to get the maximum out of a bike that is leading the world championship in the hands of team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

"Honestly I didn't ask [for it]," Vinales said. "I just go forward with that. What I need to do is to take out the maximum in every race. It was far away from taking the maximum the last races. So I didn't ask [but] I go for it."

The Spaniard, who won the Qatar season-opener but hasn’t finished higher than seventh since arriving in Europe, explained: "Basically, from 3 or 4 races ago I wasn't feeling good, I didn't feel the maximum potential.

"So I was talking a lot with Yamaha, and Yamaha decided to face this with another strategy, which was to change the crew chief. And I believe in Yamaha.

"Honestly, I have a very good relationship with Esteban, and I have a lot of confidence in him, but Yamaha always try to give me the best, so we will see.

"For sure Silvano has a lot of experience, has always a lot of years with Valentino, which is good, because Valentino has been very successful. And we'll try to give the maximum.

"But anyway, I think from Esteban and Yamaha, they arrived to the same [conclusion], and finally that change has been made more fast than they expected."

It's the second time Vinales has changed crew chief since arriving at Yamaha from Suzuki in 2017, having split from Roman Forcada (now Franco Morbidelli's crew chief at Petronas Yamaha) at the end of 2018.

The Forcada split was presented as a joint team decision, although the pivotal nature of the rider-crew chief relationship means that if a star rider requests a change, the team often feels they have little choice.

"I think it's a totally different story [to Forcada]," Vinales said. "I think Yamaha tried to find a different strategy, because sometimes for me it was difficult to find a good setting on the bike, a good balance, and for the last four races I've been very fast in FP1 and then gone backwards all weekend.

"The only thing that Yamaha want is to provide me with the best, and try to give me the maximum. I think that's why they forced to make this change."

"I never had excuses honestly. I just have facts," he insisted. "And the facts are that when the bike is working and I can have the maximum and I can take out the maximum, I am able to win the race.

"So this is the fact that we have our team-mate who is winning every race, and we are doing top 10. So something is not working.

"I started in Mugello FP1 quick, felt good and then step by step I felt worse and worse.

"The only thing I can say is that Yamaha did a quick reaction, very unexpected for me, and I trust the team a lot. So I will trust that change and I will trust that way.

"Because at the end, the level is clear, the bike is fantastic, and we cannot lose that opportunity, because it's not every year you have a fantastic bike."

Nonetheless, Vinales said it was not an easy move given his personal friendship with Garcia, who helped him win the Moto3 title in 2013 and has been at his side for four of his eight MotoGP class victories.

"Before my crew chief, he's my friend," Vinales said. "And we have a very good relationship, I went many times to his house, I know his wife and his daughter very well, and for sure our relationship will continue, even if he's not my crew chief, because he's more than just a crew chief, as I said he's one of my friends. And that change for me also hurts, you know what I mean?

"But in the other hand, I understand very well that we have to take out the maximum. We have our team-mate that is winning, and we are doing top 10, and for sure sometimes we show a very high potential and what Yamaha is trying to do is to bring me to that potential. And this is what we need to do.

"Basically what we need to is to focus, find good balance with the bike, because it was a little bit far the last few races, and continue working. Because we know we can do it. And somehow for me it was pretty like unexpected and quick, but Yamaha want to give the maximum."

Valentino Rossi: I'm happy for Silvano

Garcia's loss is Galbusera's gain with the veteran Italian, relaced as Valentino Rossi's factory Yamaha crew chief at the end of 2019, returning to front line duty after veing moved to the Yamaha test team.

"First of all I'm very happy for Silvano, because for sure he's happy to work as a chief mechanic because it's always been his real work," said Rossi at Catalunya on Thursday.

"Silvano knows the M1 very well but especially knows very well the atmosphere in the team. He knows very well [team director] Maio Meregalli. He's always been a Yamaha guy, in Yamaha Italy the headquarters are close to Monza and Silvano worked there I think for 25-30-years. So before the MotoGP team was born. He knows very well everything and I think under this point of view he can help a lot Maverick to improve."

Jack Miller: It’s the heart and soul of your team

Also speaking on Thursday, Ducati's Jack Miller, the only rider other than Quartararo and Vinales to win a race this year, described a mid-season crew chief change as a 'big thing'.

"It changes a fair bit; it’s the heart and soul of your team right there," he said. "At the end of the day it’s [Vinales'] decision… if he wasn’t feeling it then it was his choice and you have to respect that.

"It’s a tough one for me to change like that in the middle of the season but maybe it’s what he needs and power to him. It’s a big thing."

Vinales starts this weekend sixth in the world championship, 41 points behind Quartararo, who has won half of the six races so far this season.