Maverick Vinales says he is facing a ‘big problem’ this weekend at Valencia after struggling during free practice on Friday, when he finished 12th fastest on the Movistar Yamaha on the combined MotoGP time sheets.

Vinales, whose team-mate Valentino Rossi also encountered difficulties with the M1 as the Italian ended the day 11th overall, was left frustrated by turning issues with the Yamaha at the Spanish circuit.

“We are working to try and do a good weekend and mentally it is going to be difficult because the bike is not working,” he said.

“The rear tyre is working really good and let’s see tomorrow, we will try to make the maximum. I tried both, front and rear medium and soft; with both I felt good and I feel the tyres have a good potential to push, but the problem is from our bike, not the tyres. With the medium I can be faster for sure than the soft.

“This problem, we have at previous races, but here the corners are very narrow and the problems are much higher. We were struggling on the brakes, and trying to make the bike turn in the corners was difficult,” added Vinales.

“In Malaysia we had the problems in the slowest corner and in the fast corners the bike was really good. Here, all the corners are 90 degrees or more, so we have a big problem for all the weekend.”

Despite the issues, Vinales is hopeful he can fight for the top five in Sunday’s final race of the season.

“It's hard to understand what the situation is, I just try to ride the bike in the best way I can. This was the result and we will try to improve. I think we have the level to reach the top-five. Let's see tomorrow, so far it seems to be quite a difficult weekend.”

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