Maverick Vinales has set himself a new target of securing second place in the MotoGP World Championship with the title no longer a mathematical possibility.

Vinales’ hopes were effectively ended after he struggled to ninth place at Motegi in Japan, with traction issues hampering the Spaniard and team-mate Valentino Rossi. However, he bounced back to claim a podium finish at Phillip Island in third place behind Rossi and race winner Marc Marquez and is targeting another rostrum challenge this weekend at Sepang in Malaysia.

Vinales is third in the championship with two races to go, 50 points behind Marquez and 17 adrift of Andrea Dovizioso in second.

“After the podium in Australia we are very motivated to go to Malaysia, it’s a circuit with very different climate conditions to those we’ve had on Phillip Island and in Japan – it’s always very hot and that makes it a very physically demanding race,” Vinales said.

“The bike is working very good now, so it’s a little bit disappointing to arrive in Sepang without the mathematical possibility to win the title, but now securing second place in the standings is our target.

“We have to try to be as strong as we were at the beginning of the season and be on the podium again in Sepang. We will work hard to achieve it.”



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