Maverick Vinales: Wet-weather pace could cost Yamaha MotoGP title

Yamaha must improve its wet-weather performance if it is to challenge for this year's MotoGP title, believes Maverick Vinales

Maverick Vinales: Wet-weather pace could cost Yamaha MotoGP title

Vinales finished a distant fourth in last weekend's wet San Marino Grand Prix, a result that leaves the Spanish rider 16 points adrift of championship rivals Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso in the standings with five rounds to go.

He used the prototype 2018 chassis he first raced at Silverstone for the Misano event, and claimed his first pole since June's Mugello round on Saturday.

But, after being outpaced by Marquez's Honda as well as the Ducatis of Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo, Vinales highlighted the importance of improving the M1's speed in the wet as well.

"I think we have improved a lot in the dry, with a lot of consistency," said Vinales.

"In FP4 with the hard tyre I don't like we had a good pace, we did a good job.

"Now we have to improve in the wet because both Marc and Dovi are always ahead in the wet races and if we want to win the championship we have to be there too.

"The behaviour of the bike with the front was really good, I'm quite happy.

"I have the same feeling in the dry, we improve the front feeling a lot.

"But on the rear it was very difficult to get the traction.

"Especially on the left-hand corners, I was sliding a lot the bike, I could not lean.

"Today I could be fourth and I hope next time we can be on the podium.

"In the dry I feel very confident, in Aragon I hope everything is normal and we can fight with them."

With Valentino Rossi's title challenge effectively over as a result of a broken leg sustained in a motocross crash at the start of the month, Yamaha's 2017 hopes now rest with Vinales.

While Rossi's absence from Misano meant Vinales had the 2018 frame available for both bikes, he said this was outweighed by not having a team-mate to compare data against.

"I think if Valentino returns, it's going to be much better, for everyone," he said.

"Because Valentino knows the bike very well, know how to go fast.

"Also for me it's a bit easier, because we can compare data.

"If your team-mate is faster than you, you can push more, you know the limit of the bike."

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