Maverick Vinales says he hopes to exploit the gains his Suzuki Ecstar squad uncovered at the in-season test at Jerez this weekend at the French MotoGP to maintain his momentum in a competitive start to 2016.

The highly-rated Spaniard has claimed three top six results in the opening four races, with the highlight of fourth place in Texas, and feels the improvements Suzuki has uncovered over the past 12 months has enabled him to slash the performance deficit to its manufacturer rivals.

Vinales, who is strongly linked to a potential move to the factory Yamaha squad with Jorge Lorenzo moving to Ducati, has been given confidence from the progress made in the test at Jerez after the Spanish MotoGP and feels his squad must build upon those foundations to continue to improve the GSX-RR.

"After Jerez I had confirmation that we made great improvements, but also that they are not enough," Vinales said. "We have a lot of room for improvement and we must be good in exploiting our better potential.

"We are much more competitive than last year and this makes me confident for the job we are doing; also in Jerez in the test we made big steps forward and we found different solutions that will help us a lot.

"Le Mans will not be an easy track, but we are working hard and hopefully this will pay us back. We know which areas we still miss-out on and our understanding of the machine and electronics has increased a lot, so this will help us to find better solutions."

Vinales sits sixth in the MotoGP riders' championship, one point ahead of Suzuki team-mate Aleix Espargaro.