Not even a result that saw him place ahead of experienced team-mate and championship rival Valentino Rossi could ease Maverick Vi?ales' frustrations in Germany, as he expressed his disappointment when assessing the first half of the 2017 season.

The 22-year old wore a bemused expression as a 24-point championship advantage was slashed during the seventh and eighth rounds of the year, during which he scored just a meagre eight points, after appearing untouchable throughout winter testing and his first two races for the Movistar Yamaha team.

While the 2017 Yamaha M1's inability to cope with low grip conditions in high temperatures was ruthlessly exposed at Jerez and Barcelona, it was a crash during the race at Assen, where he had demonstrated race winning pace in free practice, which Vi?ales pointed toward as a key lesson from the season to date.

"I'm disappointed for sure," Vi?ales said in Germany, after securing a strong fourth place finish. "We lost so many points in four races. In Assen if the conditions were normal then I might have won the race but finally I started from eleventh and made a mistake. It could be the key moment of the championship because I should have taken twelve-13 points.

"In the first part of the season we confirmed that we are strong and the next part confirmed that we have to learn. I hope we learn! I will for sure and today I took what I learned from Assen and didn't risk so much. I want to give my maximum in the second half of the championship.

"The plan has to change if we want to be like we were in the first part of the season. We have to make the bike work like it was before. That's it: if we can do that then we'll be at the front, winning races and the championship. I mean in Qatar and Argentina.

"It is the first year I have been at the front fighting for the championship and I try to give my best all the time and sometimes you have to get fourth, fifth, sixth and in Assen I wanted to win.

"If maybe it was the second year of fighting for the championship then I wouldn't have taken that risk for the championship and today I would be leading again. Things like this make us learn a lot; at least for me because the team have a lot of experience! It is up to me to learn and we will do a good job. I will try to come back stronger."

Vi?ales and Rossi tested a new chassis at a two-day test which followed the trying Barcelona encounter, and while the Italian stated he used the new frame at the Assen and Sachsenring races, the Catalan was more illusive when taking questions on what spec he had used.

It was not the chassis, however, that Vi?ales identified as an area of the bike's set-up in need of most work. Here, he highlighted the set-up of the M1's electronics as something that requires work in the season's second half.

"Somehow in the races where we are struggling we modified the electronics and we reduced the power every race and now it looks like we need more power from the electronics! At some races we get very confused and we didn't keep the same line of the electronics during the season and changed it a lot.

"I hope Michelin can bring the same tyres for many races and we can work really hard on the electronics, also today we were not 100% on the electronics, so we need to work and get the confidence with the tyres and with the bike as we had in the beginning of the season."

By Neil Morrison

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