Since topping Friday’s FP1, Maverick Viñales’ progress seems to have stalled with the Yamaha rider failing to make it out of Q1 at Mugello on Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying in 13th for tomorrow’s ItalianGP, Viñales’ Saturday comprised of an FP3 crash and a disrupted Q1 session, with traffic impeding his early progress.
Subjected to Marc Marquez mind games as the opening qualifying session neared it’s conclusion, the Spaniard was unable to unhitch the towing Honda, setting a 1‘46.045 for second place on his penultimate lap before Aleix Espargaro demoted him out of the promotion zone and he was forced to go again. The final effort was ultimately cut short as the number-12 ran wide at the final corner, the potential of the three red sectors fading as he left the track, and revealing the reality of starting Sunday’s race from the head of the fifth row.
Viñales was blunt and to the point this afternoon as he reflected on his weekend so far.
“We were not fast enough” he said simply, before elaborating further. “Honestly, after FP1 I never had again the feeling, we just go backwards and didn't come forward. So, there is no excuses. We were slow and that's it.
“We need to try to understand our situation and build it up step-by-step” he continued. “We have lost our way a bit since Qatar. We had a shiny moment in Le Mans, but because of the rain we couldn't shine enough.
“We will try to do better tomorrow. We have to build up the bike again. We had a good bike in Qatar, and we need to accomplish that again. There I was strong, and I understood my strong points.
“Basically, here I struggle a lot with the front tyre, and we still need to work on it. During Q1 I wanted to go out alone because I think that's when we are at our fastest, but they just kept following me. It is the way it is. We just need to focus on tomorrow and be stronger.
“I always have to hope to make a good start, so let's go, let's race.’