Maverick Vinales revealed he has been fighting the same wet weather woes since round two in Argentina, as another dose of Yamaha's rear-grip torment meant his title chances now depend on the misfortune of others.

The Spaniard finished ninth in Sunday's Japanese MotoGP, from 14th on the grid, losing another chunk of points to Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez is now 41 points clear of Vinales and Dovizioso 30 points in front, with only a maximum of 75 remaining.

"41 points is a lot! It's not in my hands now," said Vinales. "Now I need other circumstances to happen to win this title. But anyway until the points are done we are going to try and give everything."

While Marquez and Dovizioso were putting on a brilliant victory battle, which eventually went in the Ducati rider's favour, Vinales spent the race in eighth… then lost a position to Jorge Lorenzo.

"I pushed my best. Honestly, I gave everything. Especially in the first laps when I was feeling better and I was trying everything," Vinales said. "But it was a very difficult race. Very difficult to ride the bike. I was quite close to hitting the ground five or six times. So I said, 'okay, this is the limit'. The bike didn't allow for more.

"I started to ride a little bit faster in the middle of the race, when I was behind Aleix. But then from one lap to another I lost three-seconds. It was impossible to keep full gas on the straights, so I needed to play a lot [with the throttle] until the last lap. We had a big drop from the tyres."

Asked when he had first experienced the rear grip problems, Vinales - who moved to Yamaha from Suzuki - replied:

"In the wet, in Argentina already. When we did qualifying the bike was not going well. Then in Assen, Sachsenring we've been struggling so much in the wet. Also Aragon. So it was difficult to change [the situation] only in one weekend.

"It's like in Argentina and all the races before this one in the rain. Very difficult to race with it."

Team-mate Valentino Rossi was caught out twice by a lack of rear grip during the Motegi weekend, the second occasion sending him out of the race.

Unfortunately for Vinales and Rossi, the next events at Phillip Island and Sepang are both well known for rain.

"If it's a wet weekend, I stay in bed!" Vinales joked, when asked if he had any ideas.

"No, honestly, it's difficult to know before we get there. Maybe we will find the key to the problem in Australia.

"For sure during all the season we’ve been struggling a lot in the wet and today it was impossible.

"I was giving my best and I don't think I'm a slow rider in the wet. Normally I was quite fast. It's strange, but it is how it is. So we have to accept and just work.

"Phillip Island is a track I like and it's always good to be there. So we are going to go there give the maximum."


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