Maverick Viñales believes 2018 has been the toughest season of his career, but believes his overall experiences with Yamaha’s MotoGP squad have been “constructive” and “positive” as he bids to become “one of the greatest.”

The 23-year old was speaking ahead of the season’s finale at Valencia, where he detailed his excitement at the possibility of testing parts of the 2019 M1 next Tuesday and Wednesday. “I've never been so motivated to start a season as I am now,” he said.

And Viñales went on to state his belief that he can be among the names challenging for next year’s title if the machinery is up to it. To do that, he said, “is the thing I want most in life.”

“Since I'm here, yes [2018 was the hardest]. 2012 was tough, but it was just Moto3. It's not this big class. You know, when you grow up, you understand many things, you understand what you want really, and what I want is the title.

“It's the thing I most want in life. So going through, when I started here in 2016, I felt I could have it. Already in the first year, in 2017, when I started so good, so I said, this is my year. And then things started to go wrong and wrong and wrong, so...

“It's always difficult, but I take these two season as constructive seasons, positive, trying to forget the bad moments. Because finally it made me stronger, and it made me a better rider for the future. So there are a lot of years to go, and I hope that I can be one of the greatest.”

What are his thoughts on testing on Tuesday and Wednesday? “I'm excited, I'm motivated,” he said. “I'm really happy to start the new season, trying to change a little bit the way to work, and I think we need to be a little bit more intelligent, a little bit more able to understand what the bike needs to go fast, not just for one lap.

“[It’s] Important to know when conditions are difficult, that is when we struggle the most. And as you said, some changes in the box, but I think for my riding style, for my way to be on the box, it's much better.

“So let's see. I'm curious to see, and as I said, I'm happy that I'm really motivated, that finally, it works quite well in these last four races and I can be again confident on the bike, that was very important for me, because if you arrive here without confidence, no motivation, so difficult to work.

“But I felt good, I felt really grateful after the win in Australia, so my mind is just on working and trying to do a good weekend.”

Viñales also confirmed that he had a revised, reshaped seat on his M1 from the Japanese Grand Prix, which allowed him to move around more freely.

“The only thing I tested that was different was the seat, which is more narrow. I started in Japan. I started in FP1 in Japan. So some races. So it makes it easier to go side to side on the bike, so that's the only part.

“But basically it was basic setup, just more weight on the rear, trying to make the rear tire work, and it helped for me.

“I ride a lot with the gas always, so when I have grip I can do really good, but when I don't have grip, for me it's really difficult. So I mean, we are trying to understand better also the Michelin tyres.

“I don't think we still know everything about the tires, so we need to investigate and try to follow in this line we are following now.”