Maverick Viñales ended his stay with Monster Energy Yamaha in MotoGP last august in a somewhat litigious fashion and after a psychologically troubled period – which coincided with the bursting entry of Fabio Quartararo, who has dominated the championship and has been consistently faster than the spaniard on the YZR-M1.
Jorge Lorenzo analyzed the situation on the official MotoGP website and started by noting that it wasn’t the first time that Viñales had made a change like this: ‘It is very surprising, but Maverick is a great rider with enormous talent. But it wasn’t the first time we’ve seen drastic changes in his career – especially when he was younger. Now it’s the second or third drastic change he’s made. He has a strong and special personality’.
The mallorcan considers, from abroad, that the arrival of Quartararo was negative for Viñales from a psychological point of view, rather than having a motivating effect: ‘It is obvious that the arrival of a young rider like Fabio, who is fast, he adapted very well to the bike and started to win, he didn’t push him to take another step. It was the opposite, it made him weaker mentally because he felt this strong Fabio a lot. It’s very difficult when your partner is half a second or even a second faster than you normally are – it starts to wreck your mind a little and if you’re not very strong and positive, you start thinking negative. From the outside, I think that’s what happened with Maverick and he needed a new environment, new people, to feel a little more motivated, content or with more energy’.
For Lorenzo, Viñales has moved towards the theoretically inferior Aprilia, but surprises can happen in MotoGP: ‘Apparently he goes to a worse bike and team – the results and history say that. But you never know: in MotoGP and in sport you can sometimes surprise even in a theoretically worse team or mechanics’.
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