Vinales MotoGP crew chief split “hurts” on personal level

Maverick Vinales has revealed his change in MotoGP crew chief from Esteban Garcia to Silvano Galbusera was a Yamaha decision but admits splitting with his friend Garcia “hurts”.

Vinales MotoGP crew chief split “hurts” on personal level

Yamaha announced on Thursday that Vinales would work with ex-Valentino Rossi crew chief Galbusera from this weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix after a “mutual” parting of the ways with Garcia.

Garcia was Vinales’ crew chief in his title-winning Moto3 season in 2013 and became his Yamaha crew chief from 2019 after the Spaniard split with ex-Jorge Lorenzo crew chief Ramon Forcada following a similar form slump.

Vinales says he has not been “on my maximum potential” for the past three or four rounds, having failed to reach the podium since his Qatar GP win at the start of the season.

After discussions with Yamaha the Japanese marque elected to replace Vinales’ crew chief, which is a decision he “trusts” but concedes his strong personal relationship with Garcia has made it tough.

“I spoke with Esteban about this because first of all he is my friend,” Vinales said on Thursday at Barcelona.

“We have a very good relationship, I went many times to his house and I know his wife, his daughter, I know them very well.

“For sure our relationship will continue, even if he is not my crew chief because he is more than just a crew chief.

“He’s one of my friends and that change for me also hurts.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But in another hand I understand very well that we need to take out the maximum, we have our team-mate who is winning and we are doing top 10.

“So, for sure sometimes we show a very high potential and what Yamaha is trying to do is to bring me to that potential.

“It is what we need to do, basically we need to right now focus, find a good balance on the bike because it was a little bit hard the last three races.

“And continue working because we know we can do it.

“Somehow for me it was pretty unexpected and quick, but Yamaha wants me to give the maximum.”

With team-mate Fabio Quartararo winning three of the first six races in 2021 and leading the championship by 24 points, Vinales admits his form in comparison means “something is not working”.

When asked by Autosport if his latest crew chief change meant he no longer had any excuses, Vinales replied: “I never had excuses, honestly. I just have facts and the fact is when the bike is working and I can take out the maximum I’m able to win the race.

“So, this is the fact. We have our team-mate that is winning every race and we are doing top 10, so something is not working, and I start in Mugello for example in FP1 quick, normal, I felt good.

“And then step by step I felt worse and worse. So, the only thing what I can say is Yamaha had a quick reaction, I didn’t expect that for me and I trust a lot the team.

“So, I will trust that change and I will trust the way because in the end the level is clear, the bike is fantastic and we cannot lose that opportunity because it’s not every year you have that fantastic bike.

“I think Yamaha was working really hard and they invest a lot of me. So, basically I trust in Yamaha, I will work strong as always and work hard.”

shares
comments

Related video

Petrucci “can’t be sad” if 2021 is his final MotoGP season
Previous article

Petrucci “can’t be sad” if 2021 is his final MotoGP season

Next article

Gardner has got to MotoGP ‘the hard way’ – Miller

Gardner has got to MotoGP ‘the hard way’ – Miller
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
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022