Austin 2017 was where it all started to go wrong for Maverick Vinales.

After dominating winter testing and winning in his first two races for Yamaha, the Spaniard crashed out early in the COTA race.

It was the first chink in the armour for Vinales, who would win just one of the remaining 15 rounds.

Vinales returns to Austin with best finish of fifth this season, a position he inherited last time in Argentina due to the post-race penalty for reigning champion Marc Marquez.

"We arrive in Austin in a position from which we can work on improving the bike. It's the third race and we can't afford mistakes. We need to fight for the victory with all our strength," he said.

"I don‘t have good memories of last year at COTA, because unfortunately I crashed at the beginning of the race, so this year I‘m set on being able to stay ahead throughout the race, and above all being able to be on the podium.

"I really like COTA because the lay-out is amazing, so I will try to give my 100% and try to enjoy the GP as much as I can."

Vinales is fourth in the world championship, 17 points behind LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.




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