The Yamaha newcomer, Maverick Vinales, has made an explosive start to the 2017 season and with his hallmark adaptability, remains a large threat.
If there’s one thing that’s given Movistar Yamaha newcomer Maverick Vinales an advantage over the rest of the pack, it’s his trademark adaptability. The young Spaniard set the tarmac ablaze in victory as he stole the win race after race since the annual opener in Qatar. Although his unbroken string of wins would soon crumble underneath him, the young rider has been doing all he can to keep learning and expanding the resources of his experience.
Although both he and teammate Valentino Rossi felt that they had done all they could during the race at Jerez – where both had mediocre finishes in the midfield due to problems they put on the Michelin-supplied tires once again – Vinales has been utilizing the best of his time to get critical practice laps in the wet out at Le Mans.
“I always learn, every time I go on the track I learn. The bike was good today and I was really good in the rain, especially in FP1 when there was less water on the track, I felt really good.
We sacrificed some laps on the dry tires to make some more laps on the rain tires and I was feeling really great; I was riding like the rest in the morning.
In the afternoon, there was a lot of water on the track and it was a little bit more slippy, but anyway I was feeling really good on the bike. I think with some more laps I could get my lap times down and be quite close to the front.” – Maverick Vinales
Maverick went on to commend the resurfacing that the track had underwent, saying that the new pavement provided a more grippy surface, but still held on to the problem of taking far too long to dry. A problem that was first shown at the Qatar Grand Prix, in which inclement weather conditions threatened the Grand Prix and standing water took far too long to dry on its own.
“Already when I tried in the test in the rain, there was a lot of grip, so I think the new asphalt brings a lot of grip because last year and the other years, it was so difficult to ride in Le Mans in the rain. It was like a lottery not to crash.
So, I think they have done a good job but the only thing is it is difficult to dry; it takes a lot of time and there are many patches, but anyway I think they did a really good job and I am happy with that.
And also the Michelin tires were working really good today, from the first lap to the last lap there was a good grip. It’s really nice to ride now in Le Mans.” – Maverick Vinales
Vinales manages to do something that most other riders don’t, and that’s knowing his own worth in the level of performance that he can bring forth without falling down the pit of having a highly over-active ego. While it stands to be seen whether or not he can manage to hold onto that positive trait, it’s certainly a boon to the young Spaniard’s efforts within the premier class of motorcycle racing.