Maverick Vinales admits “we didn’t find anything” to fix the grip woes on his Yamaha in MotoGP Emilia Romagna Grand Prix practice and will try something “very different” on Saturday.
Vinales smashed the Misano lap record for San Marino GP pole, but struggled with his “usual” problems of a lack of grip and confidence on the Yamaha on a full fuel tank in the opening stages of the races.
Joking on Thursday that he went from being “a beast” to “a kitty”, Vinales ended up 5.3 seconds from fellow Yamaha rider and race winner Franco Morbidelli in sixth.
The issues of a lack of pace and rear grip in the early stages of races has been something that has plagued Vinales for years, and he says he will now concentrate on working with the front tyre to gain lap time into and through the corners.
“Unluckily we didn’t find anything,” Vinales, who was fourth fastest on Friday, said when asked by Autosport if he’d been able to make a breakthrough with his problems.
“We thought yes, but then with the race set-up we didn’t find anything.
“We tried to replay fuel tank [level from the race], same amount of power on the bike and [we had] the same problems.
“So, tomorrow I will try something very different. We focused a lot on the rear side and trying to find more grip.
“It’s three years where I don’t find more grip on the bike.
“So, I don’t want to lose more time with the rear. We know the rear works in one way and we need to try to live with that.
“Tomorrow we’re going to try to concentrate a lot on the front tyre, trying to gain more grip, more stability and more turning.”
Explaining exactly what he is losing in race situations, Vinales added: “Well, the problem I felt is that when I have grip I can make work and I can make the lap time very easy.
“But as soon as I lose the grip, I cannot turn the same, I cannot brake on the same points, I don’t have confidence even with the front.
“So, basically my thinking is to work with the front. We need to try something different because if we do the same in the race I know I will suffer.
“When there is a full tank, I don’t have the same feeling as on a time attack. We need to try to find the best when we have 20 litres [of fuel], and I think we are far away from that.
“Today what I feel is that when I try to push with the full tank, I locked a lot the front tyre, especially the hard tyre, and the bike is moving a lot, so I can’t get the flow in the corners.”