No one would blame a MotoGP racer for feeling a little cautious about taking those Yamaha bikes for a spin after Rossi’s trouble. But Maverick Viñales is convinced that the Yamaha M1 will be behaving just for him.
— MotoGP™🇨🇿🏁 (@MotoGP) May 22, 2016
Transition is never totally seamless, let alone a transition into a team whose bikes have lately been going up in smoke during races. But Viñales, everyone’s favourite new rookie, doesn’t foresee any issues with going from Suzuki machines to Yamaha ones. In fact, he’s actually saying that Yamaha bikes will be just like Suzuki bikes, but better.
“With the Suzuki I am always on the limit and you have to be otherwise the bike starts to shake and it makes it difficult to keep going fast. The development of the bike is about my riding style but with the Yamaha it is always on a great level so any rider on the bike is going fast.
“It is not such a different style of the Yamaha to the Suzuki because you need to be smooth and round on the corners to go fast. Normally the secret is on the gas, you need to be so focused.
“The biggest difference for me compared to the Yamaha is that the Yamaha has incredible traction from the engine which is more important now with the Michelins which are hard and spin a lot.”
These are brazenly optimistic statements to make, especially since the Yamaha machines routinely failed two drivers in Mugello. Both Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo suffered smoking engines over the weekend, with Rossi having his hopes dashed right in the midst of a race. Could Viñales, the new kid on the block, manage to tame the bikes that stumped two Yamaha veterans? Then again, he has proven to be a bit of a wunderkind on the track, even at his tender age. If he achieved great things even on the supposedly limited Suzuki machine, what could he accomplish if let loose on a Yamaha?