While Maverick Viñales might now sit some 16 points behind joint championship leaders Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, he came away happy with his fourth place finish after turning a step in wet conditions and showing that he can be competitive in them on the Yamaha machine.
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 the wet, allowing him to make the jump in performance.
“It was a positive day for us. Maybe Marc and Dovi were at the front battling, but in 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 points 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 of the bike was good too. We’ve improved the front feeling a lot too, although it was very difficult to get traction from the left – I couldn’t lean very well and I only touched that knee down four or five times.”
And while he might have conceded 12 points to Marquez on Sunday, he says that the step forward they’ve made means that all in all they’re 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 improve on that. We’ve got some races coming up where our bike is strong, and we have to continue pushing at them.”