Viñales relying on mistakes from rivals
19 October 2017 – Yamaha's Maverick Viñales has accepted that he is reliant upon mistakes from Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso if he is to take the MotoGP title this season.
Viñales dominated the pre-season tests, one of which took place at Phillip Island, home to this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, and started the campaign with back-to-back wins.
He held a 17-point lead after his third win of 2017 in France but has mounted the podium just three times in the 10 Grands Prix since, and has been unable to add to his victory tally.
As a result, Viñales has slipped to third in the championship, 41 points behind Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez, who in turn heads Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso by 11 points.
Viñales has conceded that he needs his rivals to slip up, with the matter now "not in our hands", after a difficult string of events for Yamaha.
"In pre-season, Phillip Island was the track where I was fastest and most consistent, but we arrive here in a different way with a completely different bike," he said.
"I can't wait to start and it's a track I enjoy. I'm thinking only about riding and there's no pressure now.
"Now it's [the title] not in our hands, our opponents would have to make a mistake so it would be difficult.
"Now we'll just try to enjoy it, get the Yamaha at the maximum level and try and get another win."
Viñales' team-mate, Valentino Rossi, added that he is keen to address the current weaknesses limiting the pace of the YZR-M1.
"I'm in a good mood because I want to work in the best way possible with my team and fix the issues we had in Japan as quickly as possible to do nice races again," he said.
"Phillip Island is a circuit I really like and I hope that the weather here will be good to start working straight away in dry conditions.
"After the crash in Japan I'm feeling pretty good, just a little bit of pain."