Maverick Vinales currently completes the closest MotoGP top three, at this stage of the season, since 1993.

The Movistar Yamaha rider is 16 points from joint leaders Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, after 13 of 18 races.

Although he lost more points to both his rivals in the Misano rain, fourth was a solid damage limitation result given his earlier wet weather woes - and a further promising sign for the 2018 chassis, debuted 'in secret' at the previous Silverstone round.

"I'm very happy to head to Aragón because for us it's like a second home grand prix and we know that we can do a good performance there with the M1. It's one of my favourite tracks because of its layout, in Aragón we can be very fast," he declared.

"We are 16 points behind and we need to close that gap as soon as possible. For that reason, it's very important to push and believe that we can do it. In Misano we made a big step and I'm sure that we will do another important step this weekend. It's very important to stay focused."

While Movistar Yamaha will come under much attention this weekend due to Valentino Rossi's early return from injury, team director Massimo Meregalli insisted that on Spaniard's side of the garage, "we are fully engrossed with the fight for the championship.

"Maverick is 16 points behind the joint leaders, with five races to go, so we are as determined as ever to get a top result and decrease the margin to the top in the standings. He really likes this circuit and, as it's also his home race, he will be pushing hard this weekend to confirm his status as a key protagonist."

Vinales finished fourth for Suzuki at Aragon last season, having led during the early stages of the race.



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