MotoGP Qatar: Set-up changes render Vinales' pre-season 'useless'

Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales says the set-up changes he made on Saturday in Qatar rendered the whole of MotoGP pre-season testing "useless"

MotoGP Qatar: Set-up changes render Vinales' pre-season 'useless'

Vinales - who won in Qatar a year ago on his Yamaha race debut - continued to struggle for pace in qualifying at the Losail circuit after a difficult winter, ending up having to fight his way through Q1 and then ending up 12th and last in the pole position shootout.

He was the only rider in Q2 that failed to lap within a second of poleman Johann Zarco on the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha.

But Vinales said he was encouraged by his speed in FP4, in which he finished an encouraging fifth-fastest and less than three tenths off the pace.

The Spaniard said, however, the changes he made to his bike effectively rendered his entire winter of testing a waste.

"In FP4 we changed quite a lot of the bike, similar to what I was riding last year, and I felt much better already from the first lap," he said.

"So we have to continue working, trying to simulate a little bit the bike from the beginning of last year - the positive points - and let's see what we can do.

"Honestly, regarding what the set-up we used today, it was like the tests were useless for me.

"So we have to continue working and trying to find a positive way."

Explaining his run to 12th in Q2, he added: "I didn't find a clear lap. I make the lap in the second [attempt], so the tyre already was spinning a lot.

"Anyway, as I said, I am trying to get more confidence to get a bike I can ride, nothing more.

"Honestly, right now I feel I lost three months because the bike is totally different.

"Already from the first lap, I feel much more comfortable than the bike I rode three months ago."


Team-mate Valentino Rossi was eighth fastest on the quicker of the two works Yamahas in qualifying, but the Italian said concerns about his race pace remain with his tyres wearing out "too soon".

"The time I did is not bad, it's more or less the time of the test, but the position is not fantastic," Rossi admitted.

"I was confident about getting on the second row and I will have to start from the third, and that makes things a bit difficult.

"There are about 10 or 12 riders with a very similar rhythm, both those in front of me and those behind me. Everything depends on how the tyres are in the second half of the race.

"I'm a little worried because I have a good pace but my tyres start to fall too soon. I'm still not happy with the balance of the bike and that's why we still have work to do."

shares
comments
MotoGP Qatar: Polesitter Zarco doubts he can win season opener
Previous article

MotoGP Qatar: Polesitter Zarco doubts he can win season opener

Next article

MotoGP Qatar: Dovizioso fends off Marquez to win season opener

MotoGP Qatar: Dovizioso fends off Marquez to win season opener
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022