Viñales encouraged despite missing podium
12 September 2017 – Maverick Viñales expressed encouragement with Movistar Yamaha's progress despite missing out on a podium place at the San Marino Grand Prix.
Viñales, after recent struggles, had noted the gains the team made with its YZR-M1, and confirmed he was using the operation's prototype 2018 chassis, which gave him more confidence.
Viñales claimed pole position after topping qualifying in dry weather, but was never a factor during a wet race at Misano as he came home fourth, adrift of the lead battle.
Despite slipping 16 points behind Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso in the standings, Viñales was left in an upbeat mood over progress made in recent weeks.
"I'm happy with the result, because it is the best we could do," said Viñales, who was the team's sole representative at Misano in the wake of Valentino Rossi's leg injury.
"Honestly, we asked 100 per cent of the bike and I tried to get the best result and that was fourth.
"We have to continue to work in the same way, because it was a good improvement compared to the wet race at the Sachsenring, especially the handling of the bike.
"We still need a lot of grip on the traction, so we have to keep going."
Viñales remains confident that he can still close the gap to Márquez and Dovizioso across the remaining rounds.
"I'll have to push in Aragón and believe we can close the 16 point gap to our rivals," he said.
"On the dry we were really fast, I'm happy we made another step. I hope we can do the same in Aragón."
World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark will partner Viñales next time out.