“Valentino Rossi always smiled and I didn’t understand why”


Maverick Vinales points to the MotoGP title, but recalls the difficult two-year debut at Yamaha: “Valentino Rossi always smiled and did not understand”.

Maverick Vinales continues his preparation in Andorra, ready to run after the next World Cup. He stepped over Valentino Rossi inside the Yamaha garage and is now aiming to become the anti Marc Marquez. After the winter tests he seems to have the right cards to aim for the MotoGP title, but history teaches that the races are something very different from the tests. Like Fabio Quartararo he made a great debut with the M1 in 2017 with two wins in the first two outings. After Jorge Lorenzo’s farewell, he seemed to have worthily replaced the three times world champion in the premier class, but the path suddenly went uphill. The fault of an electronics not up to the changes required by the single control unit, from a chassis that did not enhance cornering, an overly aggressive and underperforming engine that led to sudden wear of the rear.


The Figueres driver complained of too many problems in the starting phase, lack of rhythm in the first laps, setting errors that prompted him to change crew chief. After Esteban Garcia’s arrival in place of Ramon Forcada the situation seems to have improved. After a long two-year apnea, in the 2019 MotoGP season he has collected five podiums and two victories. On the other side of the garage Valentino Rossi is missing the appointment with the victory from Assen 2017. But the first two years in Yamaha served to learn a lot, both from a technical and human point of view, as well as from the environment. “It is important to be calm and intelligent – he told Motorsport.com -, because sometimes when you get nervous you’re not smart“.

In some respects, he learned lessons from his teammate Valentino Rossi. “We both had difficult times at Yamaha, especially in the latter part of 2017 and 2018,” said Vinales. “Valentino always smiled and I didn’t understand why. Sometimes I talked to many people and asked why he kept smiling. Leave everything on the track and be happy. I learned to be happy. even if things don’t go the right way. But it took me months to figure it out“. The progress of the YZR-M1 allowed to take a further step in the second part of the 2019 MotoGP season. Confirmed progress in the winter tests, which lead him to take on the role of leader in the Yamaha box. “Maybe they are the most important part of the team, but other people are also very important and just like I ask for the best from people, I also strive to be in the best mood for the races“.

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