Maverick Vi?ales lamented the qualifying mistake that saw him start Sunday's Spanish MotoGP race from the fifth row of the grid and believes his race pace suffered as a result.

The 2013 Moto3 world champion was embroiled in a fierce five-rider scrap for tenth place and despite finishing eleventh - second in this particular fight - he felt he could have lapped a second a lap faster had he been circulating on his own.

"I'm happy to have ended the race almost in the top 10 but for sure I regret the mistake I made in qualifying," he said.

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"My pace in the race was good and I did a lot of overtakes, but unfortunately when you have to make so many passes it takes you a lot of time and I couldn't reach the pace I felt I could make; which I believe could have been around a second faster."

The 19-year old ended the first lap a lowly 18th but fought his way past Jack Miller, Hiroshi Aoyama and Eugene Laverty to join the battle for tenth.

While tough moves were traded throughout, Vi?ales muscled his way past Danilo Petrucci on the penultimate lap to claim eleventh, 0.6s back of tenth.

"This is what happens when you start in the middle of the grid instead of nearer the front. I think we have the potential to legitimately aim for the third-row and starting from there would mean a much easier race for us. I need to improve my style and my approach to qualifying.

"I'm still a rookie with the softer tyres so it's taking some time, but I feel confident that we are following the right path to improve."