After leading three of the six days of official pre-season testing, few would have predicted it would take Maverick Vinales until round four to claim a MotoGP podium in 2019.

Nonetheless, having achieved the rostrum at one of his and Yamaha's worst circuits, Jerez, the Spaniard faces the more favourable challenge of this weekend's Le Mans round with renewed optimism.

Vinales took his first MotoGP podium at the circuit with Suzuki in 2016, then won for Yamaha in 2017. However last year saw a subdued seventh as he battled acceleration issues, while team-mate Valentino Rossi completed the podium.

“Getting a third place in Jerez was a good confidence boost, for sure, so I'm feeling positive," Vinales said.

"Le Mans is a circuit that I really like and it's also the track where I scored some of the best results of my career. So, to me, that's a track to be back at the top.

"I really like going there. I just hope that the weather will help us a little because, if not, Le Mans is a really tough track. In Austin we were quite fast in the wet, so we have to see.

"I'm curious to see what we can do there.”

Vinales - taken out by Franco Morbidelli in Argentina - is sixth in the world championship, but already 40-points behind Honda's Marc Marquez and 31 from the top Yamaha of Rossi.

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