Maverick Vinales did not have a great race at Catalunya, anyone with eyes can see that.
Maverick Vinales, what a rider and what a name, if there were prizes for cool names Maverick Vinales would win it every year, but there’s not, this is MotoGP where we do serious things like hanging visor tear-offs in your garage (Jack Miller).
In 2016, Vinales was tipped to be the next best thing, hell, even in his single Moto2 year he shone with incredible speed, he was one to watch when he joined Suzuki in 2015.
Fast forward to 2020 and he is struggling majorly, this doesn’t help that he’s locked himself into another 2 year deal with Yamaha until the end of 2022, signing before the season even started. The Yamaha is in trouble, yes they are leading the MotoGP standings, but even Fabio Quartararo who leads the championship has complained about everything on the bike apart from the colour scheme (it’s rather nice).
Yamaha this season are down on power, they struggle to corner, they cannot accelerate and have accidentally invented exploding brakes which is quite impressive, or it would be if it wasn’t endangering peoples lives.
Vinales is a bit of a Friday and Saturday man with a bit of testing flung in there for good measure, he is able to put in incredibly fast laps over 1-3 laps on used tyres and lower fuel, but when it comes to the race he disappears like some sort of MotoGP Magician, fading away just to reappear later on in the race when it flags up that he’s just set the fastest lap of the race, from P8, with 3 laps to go. Great.
It seems he has issues at the start of the race, yet always manages to come alive closer to the end of the race when he is too far back to do much about it.
MISSING: Misano Maverick Vinales, if found, please return to Lin Jarvis
At Misano, we saw a different Vinales, he was incredibly fast on Saturday, as usual, setting a lap record and on Sunday he put his Saturday brain on and won the race, majorly improving his confidence. Yet one week later at Catalunya, disaster struck, he had left his Saturday brain in Italy, qualifying in fifth place and majorly struggling in the race.
At the start of the race, he had a shocker of a start and found himself being swarmed by the field like they were locusts, dropping back like a stone, running in a low P16 at one point losing 11 places, yet as the race went on, he was able to set some consistent laps as he always does and moved up to P9 overall, taking just 7 championship points compared to rivals Quartararo and Mir’s 25 and 20 point hauls, dropping him to a whole 18 points from the title leader Quartararo. He was only 1 point from the lead the week before.
These issues which he thought were ironed out, instead came back and burned him at Catalunya, damaging his confidence again. Let’s hope he can return to his Misano 2 form and put on a title fight.
Featured image – www.motogp.com