For the second day in succession Maverick Viñales feels his final position did not tell the full story, as brake issues forced him into aborting his final qualifying run, leaving him a frustrating eight on the MotoGP grid in Brno.
Viñales had continued to centre his focus on consistency and tyre management for Sunday's 22-lap race in FP3 and 4, only for an issue with front brake pressure to arise after his mechanics changed a front wheel in qualifying.
Rather than risk anything of Sunday's shootout, Viñales accepted a third row start was his maximum. A top three slot, he said, was within his reach had the problem not occurred.
“On the first exit went out with the 'H' [hard]. I tried it in FP4 but when I pushed hard it was jumping a lot. So I decided to change to the 'K' [medium] and I don't know. They had one problem when they put the tyre in and then I didn't have all the pressure on the brakes.
“The bike was not braking at full power. It was impossible. When I exited from the box I already know that something was wrong. I tried on the first lap and I nearly went out at the first corner. [After] I didn't even try.
“I was feeling that on my second tyre I could qualify on the first row. But anyway, we are one team and tomorrow we are going to try. In Le Mans I also started eighth and I finished on the podium so I'm going to try.
Should the race start in dry conditions, Viñales is confident of his speed, insisting that whatever he loses in acceleration, he can make up ably on the brakes.
“In FP4 we did a really good pace. Really good. I was happy with how the bike was working. Behind Valentino I was quite comfortable. The only problem was we were losing a little bit in acceleration but we were really strong on the brakes so I'm quite happy. Also I know I can pass quite well in tomorrow's race.”
“I think I'm going to use the 'K' [medium] in the front because I have a good feeling and I didn't destroy it,” he said of his tyre choice. “Then I'll use the soft in the rear. I did 22 laps and already did a 1m 56s on lap 22 so I'm quite happy.”
The possibility of overnight rain in the south of the Czech Republic is real, with both Suzukis performing poorly in wet conditions at Assen and the Sachsenring.
The 21-year old joked that 'survival' would be his main target if he has to race in poor conditions, but is hopeful the experience gained in Germany will improve the GSX-RR's wet weather performance.
“Surviving is going to be important. I don't know. We have problems with the traction. You could not touch the gas early there [the Sachsenring] so we're going to see tomorrow if it rains. I'm going to try and make some points!
“You get used to it more. The team got more information so I hope next time we're going to do better.”