Mav­er­ick by name, not by na­ture

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Viñales has been ul­tra-fast since his de­but in Mo­togp in 2015, es­pe­cially over one lap. But some have sug­gested that, with the pres­sure of fight­ing for a first ti­tle on the high­lyrated Yamaha on his shoul­ders, his 2017 sea­son could see him be fast, but in­con­sis­tent.

But the ev­i­dence sug­gests that won’t be the case. In 2016 he was one of the most con­sis­tent rac­ers in Mo­togp. Over the course of the 18 rounds and 4459 miles he only crashed five times in on-track ac­tion: the only man to crash less was Rossi.

“I have the men­tal­ity that reg­u­lar­ity can win the ti­tle. It’s im­por­tant to al­ways be on the podium and win­ning races, but it’s bet­ter to take home 16 points than zero. I al­ways have that in mind, and some­times at Suzuki I knew I could make the podium or crash try­ing, like at Aragon. I think a lot on the bike, and if you can do that it’s a good qual­ity. Oth­er­wise, some­times you get hot on the bike, don’t un­der­stand the limit, and crash.

“With Aki Ajo [his for­mer man­ager] I worked a lot on be­ing re­laxed on the bike, es­pe­cially in Moto2, be­cause I was al­ways a lit­tle hot­ter there. We worked a lot on think­ing, be­cause it’s al­ways im­por­tant. If you can’t win, you have to learn to fin­ish sec­ond.”

Mak­ing the right move

One of the ma­jor sto­ries of the 2016 silly sea­son was Viñales’ de­ci­sion to make the move to Yamaha, with the ‘will he/won’t he’ drama stretch­ing out over the course of the sum­mer.

Yet de­spite what he ad­mits was a tor­tur­ous de­ci­sion to make af­ter the loy­alty shown to him by Suzuki as they grad­u­ated him from Moto2 to the pre­miere class two sea­sons ago, Viñales be­lieves he made the right call.

“Hon­estly, it was so dif­fi­cult to make the de­ci­sion. I wanted to some­how con­tinue with Suzuki, be­cause they trusted me and the bike was quite good. It wasn’t ready for the top, but it was able to make fourth or fifth place. But af­ter think­ing and think­ing and fol­low­ing Valentino and Jorge on track – I knew I needed to make the move and try it. I had to take the op­por­tu­nity and now I’m happy with my de­ci­sion. Ev­ery­thing I was de­mand­ing at Suzuki, I got at Yamaha!

“I knew at Va­len­cia that I had made the right choice to move, and hav­ing done some laps, talked with the team, I feel great now. I feel like I’m where I need to be.”

‘I have the men­tal­ity that reg­u­lar­ity can win the ti­tle – al­ways be on the podium’

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