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?
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Cal Crutchlow , Maverick Viñales
Author Lewis Duncan
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021