Here at PecinoGP we have written until our fingers have bled about Maverick Viñales’s starting issues and how in the first seconds of a 45 minute race he ruins all the work and advantages made in practice and qualifying.
We’ve also written about how Jorge Lorenzo had committed exactly the same errors during his first two seasons in MotoGP (2008 and 2009) while he was riding for the same team Viñales racing for. Those two years saw the results of Spanish rider’s desire to quickly recover what he lost paired with his inexperience in the premier class: several violent crashes that even led him to consider withdrawing from racing.
But in 2010 Jorge went through an amazing metamorphosis. A change that led him to become one of the best, if not the best, starter in MotoGP. Once overcoming the crisis regarding his future in racing, with the stubbornness that characterizes him, Lorenzo went to work day and night to solve his problem.
The method employed was anything but the sophisticated manners one would expect in an environment like MotoGP. No, there were no engineered solutions, no latest generation electronics, no sophisticated ideas caught from other racing worlds. No what Yamaha did was build a traffic light!
“I think we still have it somewhere,” Team Yamaha told us. “Jorge started practicing starts, without pause, day and night. How many? I know that there were many. One thousand?.” With an R6 street bike, Jorge and Wilco Zeelenberg spent hours and hours practicing outside the GPs.
His then assistant was equipped with a switch in one hand to activate the traffic light and stopwatch in the other. Over and over they made practices starts, again and again. A process that burnt up many clutches. But Jorge’s stubbornness paid off because in 2010, after solving his problems with his starts, Lorenzo won his first MotoGP title …
For God’s sake, someone give Maverick Viñales a traffic signal!