Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

While Mav­er­ick Viñales might now sit 16 points be­hind joint cham­pi­onship lead­ers Marc Mar­quez and An­drea Dovizioso (see page 74), he came away from Misano happy with his fourth place fin­ish af­ter show­ing that he can be com­pet­i­tive in wet con­di­tions on the Yamaha.

Strug­gling since his switch from Suzuki to adapt him­self to the rain, he says that the new 2018 chas­sis that the team first tried out at Sil­ver­stone two weeks ago has im­proved char­ac­ter­is­tics not only in the dry but also in poor con­di­tions, al­low­ing him to make the jump in per­for­mance.

He said: “It was a pos­i­tive day for us. Maybe Marc and Dovi were at the front, but at Sach­sen­ring I was eleventh and three sec­onds from them in qual­i­fy­ing, so we’ve made a big im­prove­ment here. We still have to make a step for­ward and there’s still things to im­prove, but for sure we’re mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion with the new elec­tron­ics and chas­sis.

“The han­dling of the bike was re­ally great, and the be­hav­iour of the front was good too. We’ve im­proved the front feel­ing a lot al­though it was very dif­fi­cult to get trac­tion from the left side – I couldn’t lean very well and I only touched that knee down four or five times in the whole race.”

And while he might have con­ceded 12 points to Mar­quez on Sun­day, Viñales says that the step for­ward they’ve made means that all in all he is in a good po­si­tion now to take the fight to his cham­pi­onship ri­vals for the re­main­ing five races of 2017.

“The gap to the leader might have in­creased but we’ve done some good work and we need to build on that. We’ve got some races com­ing up where our bike is strong, and we have to con­tinue push­ing at those.”

Mav has ban­ished some wet weather demons on the M1

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