The Yamaha rider had strong race pace throughout practice and was expected to challenge for victory on Sunday, but got swamped on the run to Turn 1 due to the M1’s lack of acceleration.
As a result, Vinales was 16th at the end of the first lap and ended up just “cruising” for the first 16 laps as he could not overtake the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro or LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.
He eventually got past both with a “crazy move” and recovered to ninth, but feels he tried too hard to improve edge grip across practice which meant he “didn’t know what to choose” in terms of set-up for the race.
Having come from a dominant Emilia Romagna GP victory last weekend, Vinales admits his Catalan race was a disaster in comparison.
“Nothing went to plan,” said Vinales. “We tried to take the maximum points, but anyway it’s remaining like always; [for] four, five years we have no power. I lost a lot of places at the start. Not on the initial part, but in the second part of the start.
“We started the race knowing that, but for me what’s very frustrating is I pass 16 laps fighting behind Aleix and Cal, and I could not pass – impossible. [The] only time I passed was at corner five, braking on the outside. Crazy move, which I risked crashing a lot. When I got alone, I had really good lap…