Maverick Vinales took to the Sachsenring track with "completely the same" bike set-up as he had used to claim Yamaha's debut MotoGP victory of the season last Sunday at Assen.

And the good news for the Spaniard was that "it seems to work pretty well", with the Monster Yamaha rider claiming fourth place (+0.488s) on the day one timesheets.

"Somehow we found our way to go with the bike," Vinales said.

"For sure we have to make some modifications for tomorrow, because I need a little bit more load on the tyre, because in Assen the camber is always in a different way than here, so you put a lot more pressure on the tyre and it seems to work really well for our bike.

"So we want to try to do that for tomorrow and see if it solves my problems when I slide a lot. I'm sliding all the time. But even with the struggles we had today, we are pretty close to the top, and that's the most important thing."

Vinales added: "For sure in the time attack we could have been much faster, I don't think we used the correct tyres, especially in the front [the soft].

"Honestly, I was expected much more from the soft. I didn't feel much grip when I pushed. I think as the track condition improves we will feel better with the soft tyre.

"But somehow I can ride better than last year anyway, faster and much more competitive.

"Still we have to improve a lot, because Marc is really fast. So in one way I didn't ride in my best, but in the other way I'm quite happy about the result."

The key for Vinales will now be how much the track improves grip-wise over the course of the weekend.

"Today for us was really important, because the track is not in a really good grip level, and the lap times were quite good," he said.

"Now it's very important to see if the grip increases during the weekend or stays the same.

"Maybe from today to Sunday the track will improve, and if the track improves we will be stronger. But right now, we have to somehow find grip, especially on lean angle, because I suffer a lot.

"But I'm quite happy about the feeling I have on the bike, even if I think it's not at the maximum right now."

Petronas rookie Fabio Quartararo was the top Yamaha rider in third, with Vinales' team-mate Valentino Rossi tenth quickest but feeling far more comfortable than at Assen.

Fastest man Marc Marquez picked out Quartararo and Vinales as the riders closest to his own pace on day one.

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