Maverick Viñales Looks To 2020


Along with Fabio Quartararo and ¨¢lex Rins, Maverick Viñales is one of the riders who finished the first part of the season on a high, which he predicts a powerful second half of 2019 for the Catalan. But in the last three and a half years the expectations of seeing Viñales become the great adversary of Marc M¨¢rquez have been frustrated again and again. With the expectations so high, and the promise so great, are we asking too much of him? Is it now or never, or an eventuality he will become a champion?

In their three and a half years together, the Maverick Viñales/Yamaha relationship has been defined by a series of ups and downs. On one side is the courtship by Yamaha, and the 'yes' of a secure Viñales of a better future with them; there is also that impeccable honeymoon that marked the beginning of the relationship. The other extreme is the frustration at not seeing his expectations fulfilled, the feeling of not being heard or supported in the most difficult moments, the lack of empathy with those who should be supporting you...

Yes, since his arrival at Yamaha, the relationship has traveled through more valleys than mountains. At present this relationship could be in the middle. Gone are the youthful outbursts, which have given way to a more serene relationship, which appears more mature, more real. Maverick has left frustrations behind and has realized that only with serenity, work, and union can one aspire to achieve what he wants at all costs: the MotoGP title.

¡°When I signed with Yamaha, I signed to win. I didn't leave Suzuki to win a race but to win the championship¡­ And when I renewed, I signed again to win.¡±

¡°It has been difficult, because when I signed with Yamaha, I signed to win. I didn't leave Suzuki to win a race but to win the championship¡­ And when I renewed, I signed again to win. They assured me that they would make a motorcycle to win; and it's hard to accept that you've signed to win and then you don't. When you sign to win, you expect to be fighting for it¡ªto win. But if you suddenly see yourself in tenth you don't understand it¡­ That is very difficult to take. Especially if, like me, I don't think about anything other than winning. It's my mentality, it's the only thing worth doing. And when it doesn't come off, I¡¯m harder on myself more than I should be. But on the other hand, it¡¯s this mentality that has brought me to where I am.¡±

Viñales signed with Yamaha with intentions to win the MotoGP World Championship, and at the beginning of 2017, that looked like it might happen. Three victories in the first six races were followed by a downturn of struggles. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

The doubts: Could it be me?

¡°I had a bad time in 2017. We started the year flawlessly: we dominated the winter tests, we won three of the first six races, we became championship leaders¡ªand I was just 22 years old. Then you know what happened. ¡± What happened was that this meteoric trajectory of young Viñales hit a wall. That brilliant start which put Viñales on the exclusive list of candidates for the title was followed by a victory drought of 39 GPs! Today Viñales is clear about what happened, but at the time the inevitable questions began to fill his head: Am I the one who is failing? What am I doing wrong?

"I am a person who never shows his own emotions, but I was very frustrated, very frustrated."

¡°I am a person who never shows his own emotions, but I was very frustrated, very frustrated. I fought that frustration by training more, giving 100 percent every day, but things did not change and that led me to a state of nervousness, anger, and helplessness that made me feel bad, very bad.¡±

The fact that Rossi suffered just like him did not relieve that sense of frustration, but it helped him to understand that the problem was not him, but a technical factor. "Maybe we changed the bike too many times, we tried many things that we shouldn¡¯t have touched."

Viñales took an important victory at the 2019 Dutch TT, rejuvenating determination within himself and his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

Looking ahead to 2019, the Japanese factory changed the engineer responsible for the MotoGP project, its career department was restructured, and its working system was revised. Technicians, team and drivers started the season with high hopes. Hopes that materialized in good results for Valentino Rossi (two second places in the first three GPs), but not for Viñales, who continued to be left behind at the start and the first laps of the race.

¡°Yes, it is true, but this year I was very clear from the first race that I was at the necessary level and that we had to simply continue working and perform during weekends like the one we did in Assen. In Yamaha there have been changes and now you are noticing it; you are noticing the work that is being done. At Assen we managed to win, finally, but at Montmel¨® I already said that I had a motorcycle that could have done a good result.¡±

Mugello 2019, A New Beginning

Viñales says that the victory in the Netherlands at the end of June was more important for the team and Yamaha than for him. In Barcelona he could have done very well, but Lorenzo made that mistake on the second lap. Then came Assen, a circuit favorable for Yamaha, where they finally knew it could take advantage of its strong points.

¡°Yes, because I have always tried to face the weekends with the reset mentality, well, with desire and as if I had won the previous weekend. I needed the victory not so much for me, but also, obviously, more for the team, for the Japanese in the factory, so that they create and work harder with more desire.¡±

Viñales ended the first half of the season on a strong note, taking another podium at the German GP. With Brno this weekend, the Spaniard looks to continue his performance. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

¡°The meeting we had at Yamaha after the Mugello fiasco was very important. I needed to get out what I had inside. For me it was very important to be able to sit down with those who lead Yamaha and be able to express my opinions and express my feelings openly.¡±

In our conversation, Viñales tells us that the turning point of the season took place after the team fiasco at Mugello. From what he explained to us, it was not so much a technical meeting.

¡°It was to talk, to say what we thought. I needed to get out what I had inside. For me it was very important to have a meeting with everyone, sit down with those who lead Yamaha and be able to give your opinion and express your feelings openly. I explained what I felt the first day I got on the bike and what I felt now. They listened to me, I felt like they listened. I hope that one way or another we can build a good future. I believe that when I am at my maximum and the bike is there, we are able to do great things.¡±

With the title options lost, Yamaha and Viñales are working towards 2020, without disconnecting from the present, of course. They will race to win, but the goal is to start 2020 at the level necessary to fight for the title.