Maverick Vinales concedes that his hopes of winning the MotoGP World Championship are outside his control.

Vinales struggled all weekend in the wet at Motegi in Japan and could only finish ninth, with championship favourites Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez filling the top two places.

The Movistar Yamaha rider is now 41 points behind Marquez with three races left and admits he is relying on Marquez and Dovizioso to make a mistake to have any prospect of becoming MotoGP world champion.

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“Now it’s very difficult because it is not in our hands. Our opponents need to make a mistake, so it is very difficult, but now is just to enjoy, bring the Yamaha to the maximum level and try to repeat another win,” said Vinales, who is hoping for a dry race at Phillip Island in Australia this weekend.

“We hope for a dry race because it is when our bike is more competitive but in the wet we have to improve. We have been struggling a lot in all the conditions, especially in the wet in the last races, but it is like this. We cannot change, we can just improve.

“It’s a track I like a lot and in the pre-season it is where I have been more fast and constant, but we arrive here in a different way with a different bike, so let’s see. I can’t wait to start at a track I enjoy, like all the other riders, and it’s a track where I love to be,” he added.

“Let’s see if the bike is working good and for sure in Motegi it was a difficult race. We tried everything, we worked 100 per-cent but we didn’t get any positive results but we have to forget now and continue riding as we were before.”

After an impressive start to the season, Vinales has been unable to maintain the same level and is intrigued to gauge his progress at Phillip Island since the pre-season test there earlier in the year.

“We are going to understand if we improve or not during the season. In pre-season I felt really strong and all the laps I did here in Phillip Island were good, in ’29s and ’28s, so it means we were in a good level. We are going to see this weekend if we can reach this level or not, so we will know where we are compared to pre-season,” he said.

“It has been difficult during the races to be in the front from the beginning and the last time it was at Le Mans, but we always try to do our best and work really hard. In Silverstone we found a way to be very strong, especially at the end, but we attacked too late to try to win the race. We will try to be at the level we were at before and give the maximum as always.”

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Hmmm....sounds familiar.