It was the second time a rider mistakenly served a Long Lap penalty since the punishment was introduced in Qatar, where Romano Fenati did the same in the Moto3 race.
Vinales cited Safety Commission talks about changing the penalty from a ride-through, prompted by the controversy surrounding Cal Crutchlow’s similar penalty in Argentina, as the reason for his misunderstanding, but he insisted that it was all his fault.
“We thought, but it is nothing officially. It was just that I misunderstand, it was all my fault,” he said.
“We were so close to make a good start and on the start I just put full gas, first two or three seconds okay and then in the last moment start to move.
“I did not release the clutch, nothing. The good point at least, I overtook some riders in the start. That was the positive.
“I misunderstand a little bit the penalty, I get many seconds, then was a good comeback.”
Joan Mir also jumped the start at Austin and Crutchlow was penalised for the same offence in Argentina, an otherwise rare penalty being dished out three times in two races.
When asked if race control has gotten more strict about starts, Vinales said: “No, not severe, finally it is the same. I move. If you move, you get the ride-through.”
“If you gain time on the start you have to have a ride-through, there is no excuses.”
Despite the penalty, Vinales said that he had a strong race, as he recovered to 11th place.
“It was a good race for us here this year, we show really good pace. Then after the ride through I could ride easily in 2m04s,” he said.
“I did not expect to finish 11th because I was so far from the guys but I was catching some 2-3 seconds per lap.
“Was not bad, I was riding well, feeling good on the bike. If I saw myself in the front I could go even faster but it is like this, we cannot change, we just have to think on Jerez.”
Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images