How Crutchlow helped Vinales to Qatar MotoGP win

Maverick Vinales says the introduction of Cal Crutchlow as Yamaha MotoGP test rider for 2021 has allowed him to “concentrate on racing”, following his commanding Qatar GP win.

How Crutchlow helped Vinales to Qatar MotoGP win

Vinales stormed to victory in last Sunday’s 2021 season-opener at Losail after surmounting a quartet of Ducatis and Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

Over the winter Yamaha installed three-time MotoGP race winner Crutchlow as its new test rider, with the Briton present in the Qatar test earlier in March.

Vinales says he tried Crutchlow’s bike during the test and found it “fits fantastic for me”, while hailing the change in “mentality” towards race weekends he is now able to take with the Briton in the background evaluating new parts.

“We ride very similar,” Vinales said of Crutchlow.

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I was quite surprised because on the last day of testing I tried his bike and it fits fantastic for me.

“So, it helped me a lot to stay concentrated on racing and not concentrate on trying [new] things and this is a totally different mentality from last year because sometimes we needed to test many things.

“I wish everything works, but normally nothing works when you try on a race weekend.

“And this looks like it gives us a lot of calm because we know when Cal will says something is good, it will be good.

“And it’s something I believe in, and for sure now in the next days Cal will have another test and we will work especially on the power delivery of the bike because sometime it’s too much and we need to work very strong on that.

“But it’s just the feeling, the feedback is very similar and this is very important.”

Read Also:

Crutchlow is due to test the Yamaha again on 12-14 April at Jerez, where Andrea Dovizioso will also be present with Aprilia.

During the Qatar weekend, Fabio Quartararo felt the “story” of the Yamaha being an easy bike to ride was over.

Vinales agrees with is team-mate that the 2021 M1 – which has improved turning thanks to a lighter chassis – requires an aggressive style, notes this must also be tempered by an equally smooth approach.

“What I try to do is to help the bike a lot,” Vinales explained.

“I try to be aggressive but in the same way smooth; I try to brake late and hard, but at the same time I try not to move the bike a lot.

“And somehow the Yamaha likes this, finally what you need to do is understand the bike and try to help it.

“And it’s what we need to do. We don’t touch it too much, I just try to work really hard on the riding style, just go corner by corner and really improve myself.

“Overall, for sure you need to push the bike, it’s not that kind of bike that before was mantequilla [like butter].

“It’s not anymore, now you need to push, you need to brake late, you have to open [the throttle] aggressively.

“But at the same time, you need to be smooth.

“So overall I feel we built a good bike. It’s just the first race. We need to see, especially in Portimao, Jerez, if it’s good.”

shares
comments
Rossi “had to struggle” in Qatar MotoGP race
Previous article

Rossi “had to struggle” in Qatar MotoGP race

Next article

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?
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
Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes Plus

Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood Plus

How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood

Wayne Rainey, who’s paralysed from the chest down, will ride his 1992 500cc world championship-winning bike again at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. The American motorcycle legend explains how he's preparing to thrill on his first visit to the famed hillclimb

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2022