Maverick Vinales acknowledges he faces a difficult challenge if he’s to close the deficit to Marc Marquez at the top of the MotoGP World Championship.

Only four rounds remain, with a challenging series of three flyaway races clicking into gear this weekend at Motegi in Japan.

Vinales is third in the points reckoning, 28 points behind Marquez and 12 behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in second place.

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However, the Movistar Yamaha rider has vowed to keep fighting for the title until the end and is targeting a strong weekend at the Twin Ring circuit.

“The next Grand Prix, held in Japan, is very special for me since it's one of my favourites of the season and it's also the home race of Yamaha,” said Vinales.

“I hope to do a good job and be able to collect more points for the championship, which is crucial to continue fighting for the title. For the next races we have to try to work even more than usual.

“We have to keep fighting and working with high motivation, even though it will not be easy to complete the last part of the season and bridge the gap between the championship leader and me,” he added.

“I will try to work even harder and I arrive in Japan with the aim to learn and be even stronger. I'm convinced that, with the support of the amazing fans at the Motegi circuit, we will be able to give our 100 per-cent.”

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Long odds.  He can approach race strategy several ways, but at some point if his deficit to the points lead requires putting it all on the line, he can either push beyond what he thinks he's capable of or he can settle for losing the championship.  The pressure is all his.  Each race holds points he needs and after the recent rise of the HRC bikes, he's losing in that battle.

It's time to step everything up.

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