Vinales quickest during day one of Free Practice
On the first day of Free Practice at the South American track, indications that he would do well in Argentina came through as he was once again able to settle down quickly on his new machinery and adapt to what the track has to offer. Vinales was signed up last year by Movistar Yamaha to replace Jorge Lorenzo now with the Ducati Team.
He finished day one of Free Practice as the quickest rider once again. Come day two however, he struggled more as it had rained and although he easily remained in the top 10 after Free Practice 3, he was only able to Qualify on sixth on the grid. Dry conditions returned for race-day however and Vinales was once again quickest during the morning warm-up session.
Great start from the Spaniard in Argentina
The race got underway and Vinales was able to slot into the third behind Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) who were in first and second respectively. By the third lap, the Spaniard was able to catch and overtake Crutchlow to take second at turn seven of the track.
Then disaster struck for Marquez as he crashed out of turn two of lap four of the race. Vinales was in the lead and should he be able to fend off Crutchlow and his new teammate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), then he would win. The 19 laps passed without fault from the Spaniard who was not only able to stay in front, but he was able to extend his lead. He crossed the line 2.915 seconds ahead of Rossi in second.
Second consecutive win for Vinales with new team
The Spaniard had won his second ever race with Movistar Yamaha, after winning his first with then the previous round in Qatar, at just 22 years old. Vinales also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 when he set a time of 1:39.694 which was over half a second slower than the Circuit Lap Record set by is teammate in 2015.
Vinales confident with the tyres
Afterwards, Vinales felt that they had done “a great job” and after making the correct tyre decision in the morning, of medium compound Michelin Power Slicks on the front and rear and he was left feeling “really great”. He explained that the “tyre’s grip level was really good the entire time”. He shared his confidence in the French tyre manufacturers’ work saying, “I feel pretty strong and Michelin is doing a great job, I feel really happy and confident.”
Discussing his win and overall success with his new team, the young Spaniard said, “It’s like we are in a dream.” He went on to thank his team who he said are “doing a great job” and he hopes to “continue like that”.