Suzuki's Maverick Vinales agrees that on paper at least he has a strong opportunity to win his maiden MotoGP race tomorrow at Silverstone.
The young Spaniard qualified third fastest in the wet behind Britain's Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi, but Vinales has been especially impressive in the dry, heading FP1 on Friday before twice finishing second quickest in FP2 and FP3 behind Ducati's Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda respectively.
Vinales' chances are being talked up and he admits he feels particularly strong on the GSX-RR at Silverstone.
“At least on paper, it looks like that. In the race you never know, but what I know is I feel really strong and the bike works really good all the time; I have confidence in the front and it is so important for this track,” Vinales said. “We are ready to fight until the end and if I have the chance, for sure I will take it.”
Elaborating on the strengths of the Ecstar Suzuki at the British circuit, he added: “Our bike is really good on the fast corners, also here it is mainly that you need to change the bike fast and our bike is so fast to change the direction. Also in Brno we worked a lot on acceleration and here we are still working; we are improving day by day and I think it is important for us to conserve the tyres because tomorrow I think will be a difficult race and at the end of the race, the tyre will go a little bit down and we need to be intelligent in that area.”
Vinales jumped to third place with an impressive time of 2m 20.514s in Q2, which left him 1.2 seconds behind pole man Crutchlow. However, he set his front row time at the close of the session when the rain was at its heaviest and conditions at their worst.
“The last lap was incredible and I went into the first corner already sideways. I tried to finish the lap as best as I could and honestly after FP4 I thought I would be on the third row because I was two or three seconds [off pace], so I need to say thanks to the team because they did a lot of work in just half an hour to give me one bike that I could push,” he said.
“I'm quite happy and also in the dry we were really strong this morning and I think we have a quite high possibility to be in the front and fighting until the end.”
Vinales struggled in the wet at Brno in the previous race and also in the wet FP4 session at Silverstone, but he has gained some new-found confidence with the Suzuki and will head into the race optimistic of a solid result regardless of the weather on Sunday.
“In Brno we did one step but today in FP4 it was horrible; I was just riding the bike because it was difficult to get the grip,” he said. “In qualifying practice I tried to push my best and also the bike was improving a lot, so I'm very happy to be on the front row for tomorrow and it's important to start on the front.”