Pace-setter Vinales still seeking improvements ahead of Qatar

Edge grip a key area to work on for factory Yamaha contender.

Image: Supplied.

Setting the fastest time on the final day of MotoGP World Championship testing in Qatar this week, Maverick Vinales believes there’s still room for improvement ahead of the 10 March opener at Losail International Circuit.

Expressing a positive feeling out on-track, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider is adamant he’ll be adequately prepared for the race, however acknowledged a lack of grip on the edge of the tyres with his YZR-M1.

“Honestly, I have been riding really good on the track, I felt like I was going very fast with the amount of grip that the track provided today,” Vinales commented. “But we need to improve. I don’t have really good grip on the edge, so we need to keep working, especially in that area.

“On the acceleration side we improved quite a lot since Sepang, and at the moment I’m quite satisfied with what we have in the braking area. My race pace is not bad, I tried ten laps just to understand how the bike is doing, but it was very cold for the medium tyres.

“Anyway, I rode quite well, with quite a good rhythm. Maybe I could have pushed a little more. However, we still need to improve for the race. I think we are going to be ready. The race will be very important for us. Our bike has really positive points, but also a few negatives, so we now need to come to a conclusion and see where we can improve.”

The Yamaha squad has been highly-impressive throughout testing, posting improvements over last season, with multi-time world champion Valentino Rossi also winding up inside the top five at Qatar.


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