Maverick Vinales said that he felt great on the bike en route to his first MotoGP podium since Germany after his third place finish in Buriram.
The Spaniard has been struggling in 2018, however both his and Valentino Rossi’s M1’s seemed to enjoy conditions this weekend with the factory Yamaha duo finishing in third and fourth respectively.
Vinales said that he isn’t sure if the changes he and his team have made to his bike this weekend were the reason behind the pace he had or if it was the tyres and track itself.
“I think if that race was in a different situation I could have the chance to attack in the last laps,” said the 23-year-old.
“I was there, really close, just we need more feeling. After five or six races I was not able to get less than ten seconds from the top. I was there today very close, I was able to fight and recover some gaps.
“I am happy that we did a good job and lets see in Japan. As I said, there are no expectations, I go to Japan trying to be clever as I was this weekend and lets see if we can manage.
“I believe in the changes we did on the bike, but the rear tyre is different, so for sure it helped us a lot in turning the corner.
“Lets see if it’s not the rear tyre and see if it’s the changes we did on the bike. Anyway I felt quite strong in the race, it was good and as always I was recovering the gap in the end and I was feeling great on the bike.”
One of the biggest differences for Vinales this weekend compared to recent races was his pace at the start of the race. When asked about his early race pace, Vinales said: “The start we changed a little bit, just to make it a little easier. With more confidence I can start even faster, but I am curious in Japan to see if the changes of balance can help.”