Maverick Vinales apologised to his Suzuki team despite an excellent ride to secure a second row start in sixth place for the Australian MotoGP.

Vinales feels he should have been a few tenths faster than his 1m 29.932s lap on the GSX-RR at Phillip Island and was more pleased with the improvements he made in FP4.

"It was a good day and we did a very good job. I'm really happy for the FP4 performance, probably one of the best of the season so far, where we were very competitive and did a good job," said the MotoGP rookie.

Related Articles

"For qualifying I need to apologise to the team because I probably still missed some tenths of a second as I feel my lap could have been even better but I couldn't push at my 100 per-cent even though I am in a good position.

"For tomorrow I think that will be crucial to make a good start and to keep the advantage in the very early laps. If I can do this, I think I could fight for fifth or sixth place," he added.

"I think we would deserve this position because we did a very good job this weekend. We know what we still lack, so we can work on it to improve even more."

Vinales' team-mate, Aleix Espargaro, was forced to gain access to Q2 via Q1 and had to rely on one set of tyres in final qualifying as a result, lapping in 1m 29.015s to finish eighth fastest.

"I'm satisfied with the improvements we've made since yesterday; my pace with the hard tyre is much closer to the top," said Espargaro.

"Unfortunately, this morning I missed direct access to Q2 by very little. I couldn't exploit the softer tyre at its best and so I had to use one more set for the additional session.

"The machine has improved really a lot and probably if today we had another set of tyres we could have been very closer to the top," he added.

"I'm happy, it's good to see that we improved: I feel better on the pace, better on the time attack, I have a good feeling and we are in a good starting position to make a positive race tomorrow."