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“Difficult day” for Viñales despite front row start

The Spaniard came through Q1 to qualify on the front row, but maintains there is still work to do

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) qualified on the front row for the first time since the Americas GP at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with the Spaniard launching from P3 in Sunday’s race.

With teammate Valentino Rossi on pole, it seems the factory Yamaha’s have turned a corner after a troubled start to the 2018 season. However, Viñales wasn’t so upbeat about his weekend so far, maintaining Saturday was a difficult day on his side of the garage. “It’s been very difficult today. Honestly, after yesterday I was hoping to have a better day,” explained the number 25. “I think we did a good job in the box but it’s difficult to be positive when Friday I was first and second a lot of the time, and then I arrive into FP3 and I’m not able to go straight to Q2… so it’s always really difficult to get good concentration but I’ll keep fighting, I’ll keep pushing as always and let’s see.”

Viñales: "It's not how it starts, it's how it ends"

The 23-year-old was one of only two riders who failed to improve their time in FP3, with the Spaniard admitting he and the team followed a wrong direction with the M1's set-up. “We followed a wrong direction and we got lost a little bit, it’s so easy to get lost with this bike,” said Viñales. “We need to maintain the concentration, try to work better inside the box and keep pushing.”

So, what about his thoughts on Sunday’s race? “I think for tomorrow we can improve because I still feel the bike needs to improve in some areas, but I was at a good level today to make one lap. Let’s see if we can also do it for the whole race.”

At Mugello, tyres are a talking point for the premier class grid ahead of tomorrow’s race, with Viñales explaining “I don’t honestly know, because the tires are very different. Let’s see if we can choose the correct one.”

Italian GP: MotoGP™ Qualifying 2