Vinales: "Lucky" dashboard message key to front row
Maverick Vinales admits a crucial Q1 dashboard message from Yamaha was “luckily” timed to help him progress to the pole shootout and secure a front-row spot on the Mugello MotoGP grid.
Vinales looked well-placed to secure one of the two transfer spots in Q1 as he took the early lead in the session, and as such made no attempt to prevent Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat from following him.
But when Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller surpassed Vinales late on, Rabat – still running behind right in the Yamaha's wheeltracks – was suddenly a threat.
With Rabat up on Vinales' time heading into the final sector, and just a minute left on the session clock, Vinales received a message on his dashboard that read “P2; P1 TIME 1:46.7” - and immediately rolled out of his own lap.
This deprived Rabat of a crucial slipstream down the start-finish straight, and he came up a tenth short of deposing Vinales for second place in Q1.
“If he had the slipstream, I wouldn't have been third [on the grid],” Vinales conceded after qualifying. “Luckily the team sent me the message, I just give up the lap.
“I think this was the key to being on the front row.”
After advancing from Q1, Vinales qualified within the top three for the second time this year – and the Spaniard, who has endured a mixed season, admitted this had come as a surprise.
“Actually, [FP3] this morning went quite bad, so I didn't expect to be in the first row because in the morning I couldn't improve the laptime from yesterday," he said.
“But finally we work hard in the garage, we work on the problems where we struggle a lot, and FP4 [we] seemed to do a big step, especially on the rhythm with used tyres.
“I feel good, the team is working better every day. It's a tough moment, but when I have confidence for sure I can be in the front.”
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