Quartararo: Vinales “one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen” in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo says Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Maverick Vinales is “one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen” and has identified where he needs to improve to stop his 2021 struggles.

Quartararo: Vinales “one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen” in MotoGP

Vinales comes into this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix off the back of his worst-ever weekend in MotoGP, having finished last in Germany and qualified down in 21st.

Since his Qatar GP win in March, Vinales hasn’t troubled the podium while Quartararo has won three times and leads the championship by 22 points.

Vinales said after Germany he is feeling disrespected by Yamaha in how it is handling his current situation, admitting on Thursday at Assen that he has “given up” on a number of occasions this year and will now copy Quartararo’s bike set-up after initially rejecting this idea.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Autosport, Quartararo heaped praise on Vinales’ ability as a racer but feels on the difficult days he has to “try to save” his weekends by accepting finishing in lower positions than he is capable of achieving.

“For me, Maverick is one of the best riders of the championship,” Quartararo said.

“When he is fast, he’s so difficult, almost impossible, for everyone to beat. I remember the start of 2017 with Yamaha, he won the two first races, then Le Mans.

“He’s just so fast, but sometimes a little bit inconsistent. But for me he’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen on a track.”

Quartararo added: “He had some tough times, also in Mugello, in Germany. It was a little bit strange, but for sure he will be there this weekend.

“It’s one of his favourite tracks, but he just needs – for me – in the difficult moments try to save [the weekend], even if it’s for seventh position, or eighth or ninth or 10th.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Dorna

“Because the bike was not able to win, I think, at Sachsenring, but it was not to make last. And I think in those moments… that was my problem last year.

“I was unhappy to finish 12th, 14th and I crashed, I pushed the limit. But in many races you have to fight for three, four points, five, even one.

“I remember in 2013 I won the championship by one point in the Spanish championship. But the problem he has now, honestly I have no idea.”

Vinales has gone through numerous tough phases since joining Yamaha in 2017, with the team swapping his crew chief out twice in the last five years in a bid to help him. The latest change occurred at Barcelona, when ex-Valentino Rossi ally Silvano Galbusera was drafted in to replace Esteban Garcia, who in turn was brought in to replace Ramon Forcada in 2019.

After Quartararo’s 2020 title tilt unravelled in spectacular fashion in the closing races, he worked with a psychologist over the winter – something he has done before in his career.

Each time he’s done this, Quartararo has made breakthroughs on track and the Frenchman noted that Vinales may benefit from changing his own mental approach.

“I think the most important thing on a team is the mental side, because if even if you have the best bike of the championship, if someone has put in your head or you have put in your head that the bike is not working, you are not going [to go] fast,” he said when asked if Vinales could learn from him in respect of mental approach.

“And even if sometimes you don’t have the best bike but you just say ‘I’m going to win, I’m going to fight for something great’, you will do better.

“It’s all about believing in yourself and try to go for it. It’s something that I learned from last year and I think it’s so important.”

shares
comments

Related video

Marquez “back to our real situation” at Assen after MotoGP Germany win

Previous article

Marquez “back to our real situation” at Assen after MotoGP Germany win

Next article

Morbidelli to undergo knee surgery after missing MotoGP Dutch TT

Morbidelli to undergo knee surgery after missing MotoGP Dutch TT
Load comments
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021