Vinales Insists Performance at Jerez “not our fault”

MotoGP Yamaha Rider Maverick Vinales insists that the poor performances he and teammate Rossi turned in at Jerez were not their faults, nor their team’s fault.

Once again, it looks like it’s time to cast a shade of doubt on the quality of the Michelin tires in MotoGP. After a horrendous last year that was filled with incident after incident due to an underperforming compound supplied by Michelin, it doesn’t look as if the French tire manufacturer’s woes have subsided quite yet.

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - MAY 06:  Maverick Vinales of Spain and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP practises his start after qualifying for the MotoGP of Spain at Circuito de Jerez on May 6, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN – MAY 06: Maverick Vinales of Spain and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP at the MotoGP of Spain at Circuito de Jerez on May 6, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Maverick Vinales of Movistar Yamaha lamented the performance of both he and Valentino Rossi, saying that they were unable to let their true potential show as they had to contend with tire issues:

“Today we bring home 10 really important points for the championship. [It] was really difficult.

Good feeling in the warm-up, I was feeling – maybe I can do, I can start and go with Dani and Marc [Marquez] and fight until the end. But in the race, I had no feeling on the front.

What I say is that in the morning I feel really good, everyone could see my lap times were really constant, good on the line, good on the braking point.

This afternoon was totally different and a disaster on the braking points. I was braking 30 meters earlier than this morning. You can understand.

Finally, we are losing so many points and it was, I think, not our fault, so let’s see.” – Maverick Vinales

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - MAY 07:  Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Ducati Team and Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (R) round the bend during the MotoGP race during the MotoGp of Spain - Race at Circuito de Jerez on May 7, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN – MAY 07: Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Ducati Team and Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (R) round the bend during the MotoGP race during the MotoGp of Spain – Race at Circuito de Jerez on May 7, 2017 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Though Vinales alluded heavily to the tires being the issue, he stopped short of accusing Michelin throughout. Vinales’ issues with the front end were evident as he lost the front all-out and caused Andrea Iannone to crash out of the race. Vinales apologised to Iannone and insisted there was nothing he could do, as he came close to crashing out several times himself:

“Already from the first lap, when I had the moment with Iannone, and then all the braking points on the right-side corner I was really slow. I nearly crashed two or three times in corner 11.

I know I crashed in Austin for the same problem as today but today I have the luck that I was not so fast as in Austin, I had some riders in the front and I could not push 100 percent, that’s why today I saved the crashes.” – Maverick Vinales

Yamaha may well hunker down behind the notion that the tires are the biggest problem out on the track once again – and if that happens Michelin will certainly find itself in incredibly hot water.