With three top five results in as many races, Maverick Viñales is currently riding a wave of good form as he prepares for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, a track he feels will be “less difficult” to tackle than Aragon aboard Suzuki's GSX-RR.
At Thursday's pre-event press conference, Viñales described himself as “really motivated” to better his fourth place at in Spain at Suzuki's home race, where he scored three podium places in the smaller classes.
While Austria proved the Suzuki to be slightly inferior to both Ducati and Yamaha when accelerating out of low-gear hairpins – of which there are many at Motegi – the cooler Japanese temperatures may aid Viñales' quest.
“Last year here was good for me” said the 21-year old, once a MotoGP race winner at a memorable British Grand Prix.
“In Japan I was feeling really good on the bike. We come here from some races where we were doing a really good job. We are always at the front.
“I'm really motivated and the team are also quite confident that we can do a good result again. I think here will be a little bit difficult, but less difficult than Aragon. There we did a good result so here we're going to try and do it better.
“Here it's always been a really good track for me. In Moto3 I was really fast. Then in Moto2 I finished second but in a really good way. For my riding style it suits this track really good.”
Viñales' triumph at Silverstone saw him rise above countryman Dani Pedrosa to sit fourth in the world championship. Yet the Repsol Honda rider responded by winning at Misano, and one race later sits just six points ahead of his younger compatriot.
Claiming fourth in the championship is now one target Viñales has as the series enters its final four races of the season.
“It's really close and it will be interesting to try and finish in front of him,” he said of the fight with Pedrosa.
“It's going to be difficult because when Dani has a good day he's at the front. But now we are also coming to the front so I'm really excited to see if we can battle in the [next] races.”