Maverick Vinales once again underpinned his credentials as a title contender in 2017 as the new Movistar Yamaha rider powered to the top of the times on the penultimate day of the Qatar MotoGP test.

Vinales has had the honour of being quickest at every test so far and the young Spaniard put himself on course to complete a clean sweep of the pre-season shakedowns as he headed team-mate Valentino Rossi in a one-two for the factory team, with series rookie Jonas Folger improving again on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha to end the day in third.

Vinales, who lapped in 1m 54.455s to head Rossi by two tenths, said he is happy with the M1 but stressed that there is still more to come.

"It's nice to feel fast and also on the pace. I think today we did another step and I feel quite comfortable on the bike, the team is working good," he said.

"Tomorrow we just need to try a long run and let's see how the tyres drop. I think at the moment we have a good level of grip but still we are not 100 per-cent satisfied."

Vinales made some improvements on day two with corner entry but says it remains an area where more progress can be made ahead of the season-opener at the Losail International Circuit later this month.

"Today we improved a little bit there and that is why my pace was more constant, because I didn't run wide many times. I feel good now but I think still we can improve a little bit more the entry in the corner and I can push a little bit more.

"The lap times were quite fast so I'm quite impressed that the bike is working good and on the pace I was feeling quite fast," added Vinales, who claims he is not on a quest to finish every test as the fastest rider.

"It doesn't matter because the race weekend is the race weekend but anyway it seems like we have a good pace, a good feeling on the bike and I am pushing hard and the bike is working good. For that, I am happy and quite confident we can do a good race."

Rossi improved significantly on Saturday after the Italian was seventh fastest on day one, some eight tenths off the pace. However, Vinales shrugged off suggestions The Doctor may have been deliberately holding back.

"Now he shows! We are trying many things and it is difficult to ride fast when you are trying many things. Anyway, Valentino is fast always and you have to know that he is going to be there," he said.

"I think that there are many riders that can win this year also: Jorge [Lorenzo], [Andrea] Dovizioso, Dani [Pedrosa], Marc [Marquez] and Valentino and also I can win. You cannot say there is only one rider and last year it was quite crazy, so there are at least five riders that can win. But for sure Marc will be there in every race."

The 22-year-old has yet to make a final decision over which chassis he will use but admits he continues to favour the 'new' 2017 version.

"No [final decision on chassis], we are trying, but yes, still favouring the new one, but we have to improve. I think [the bike] is quite ready, but still we need to improve the electronics, but I think with the set-up on the chassis, we are on a good level," he said.

"I will try for sure [to do a 1'53] tomorrow but it's going to be hard because you are quite on the limit and it is only the test."


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