Maverick Viñales didn’t attempt to conceal his disgust at the performance of his Yamaha M1 on Saturday, declaring that he hopes the factory “changes everything on the bike” for 2018 after qualifying a listless 13th at Valencia.

The 22-year old repeatedly cut a frustrated figure through free practice and qualifying as he struggled to stop the bike on the entry of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo’s myriad of tight, twisty corners. He didn’t hold back when describing his mood, either. “Honestly, I’m frustrated,” he said. “I hope the team is too.”

Not only was Viñales slow. His fastest time in qualifying was a full second slower than his quickest lap at last season’s test, when he sampled the M1 for the first time. But now, after another frustrating round, the Catalan believes the machine needs wholesale changes for 2018. As he noted, “With the set-up you can not make up two seconds. It’s impossible.”

Asked if he could explain his lack of speed, Viñales was, at first, curt: “If you can ask Yamaha, it’s better. I have no explanation.”

Goaded into expanding on his initial comments, he continued, “Well it [the telemetry] says we are on the wrong place. We’re on the wrong set-up, the wrong place. Everything we do the bike is doing the same. We have this problem in many, many races but this is the most narrow track.

“You need to stop more the bike. The problem increase. You can see in the result. From being first at the start of the season and being strong to trying to be 15th in FP4. Honestly, as a rider I’m frustrated and I hope the team is too.

“The traction is quite good. When I’ve been behind some riders the traction is quite good. The problem comes on the brakes. In the brakes it’s so difficult to stop and as soon as I turn a little bit I go straight – I don’t turn in the corner. This is the biggest issue. In some tracks we are less. So better potential. But here it’s impossible to be stronger than right now.

“We tried to change the geometry and suspension. We didn’t change chassis or something like that. Anyway, when something is not working, it’s not going to change when you go down or up. If the bike doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You try but if you’re in a 1m 30, maybe you can change and go to a 1m 30 low or high. But when you are in 1m 32 it’s something impossible. With the set-up you can not make up two seconds like this. It’s impossible.”

His comments follow a disappointing Friday, and frustrating outings in the rain in Japan and Malaysia. Asked whether he feels as though he is in hole he cannot get out of, Viñales responded, “Well, I’m not in a hole.

“I came here with a big motivation, as strong as always and when I have the have the bike, I’m between the first three [riders], so I’m not in a hole. What I can say is that for sure it’s mentally very difficult. You see yourself sometimes pushing at 100 percent, doing perfect laps, at the front and riding well, and then I’m here pushing 100 percent. I want to do an incredible result because it’s the last race. The test was so good and I’m struggling to be 17th. I don’t know.”

So what should Yamaha aim to change for the ’18 M1? “Well, I hope we change everything on the bike,” he said. “But I hope we can change everything. In two days I’ve done many laps on the track and it’s no good. We hope to try something different.”

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