Maverick Vinales’ season has dipped since his win in Qatar.
Maverick Vinales has disappointed us slightly since his win in the season opener in Qatar, he started the season talking about how his life was in order now and he is in the best place mentally of his career backing this up with a race win which led many to believe that he was ‘back’ and was going to battle for the title, since then he has barely scraped the top 5. Yes, we are only 4 rounds in but his teammate has already won two races and lost an almost certain victory in Jerez due to arm pump with Franco Morbidelli taking podiums on a bike that is two years old.
Since his victory in the season opener Vinales took a P5 in Doha, a P11 in Portugal and a P7 at Jerez, if this is him with his life in order then I dread to think what it would be like if his life was a mess… He won the race in Qatar thanks to a perfect race start which he had spent all weekend practising and perfecting every time he left pit lane, since then it’s like he’s been content with his singular win riding like he’s met a ‘quota’ for wins this year so can sit back and relax.
Once again he has fallen back into the pattern of struggling with race starts and falling back down the field in the opening laps which is nearly inexcusable now after 3 years of this same issue. He suffered his worst ever season with Yamaha last year and was beaten by Franco Morbidelli with the Italian rider showing a lot of speed and progress on the Yamaha, honestly, if Vinales doesn’t sort these issues out he may end up with a ‘demotion’ to Petronas swapping places with the clearly more competitive Franco Morbidelli, of course this is extremely unlikely given that the riders are locked into airtight contracts and Morbidelli is signed to Petronas and not Yamaha but hey, stranger things have happened.
Vinales will be looking at this weekend to try to turn his season around and battle for the title once again, he has a good history at the track taking his first MotoGP podium here in 2016 on the Suzuki before winning in 2017 before his form dipped completely and he got into the little routine he is in now.
It will be interesting to see how this and the Yamaha situation develops given Quartararo’s outright pace and speed which could see the Frenchman take the #1 rider spot from a more senior Vinales which would be a tough pill to swallow.
Featured image – Yamaha MotoGP