Maverick Vinales says he prioritised his race preparation during Friday practice over the outright quick lap times on a productive day for the Monster Yamaha rider at the Czech Republic MotoGP.

Fresh from victory at Assen and a podium at Sachsenring before the summer break, Vinales kept comfortably inside the top 10 – and provisional Q2 spots – by ending FP2 in fifth place and just 0.282s off pace-setter Fabio Quartararo during the soft tyre runs.

Vinales opted to complete his qualifying-style laps early in the afternoon session, compared to the majority of his rivals during the late-session time attack, but having held on to fifth place and focused his attention on race pace by assessing the Michelin tyre compounds, he feels in a strong position heading into the Brno weekend.

“I’m really happy about today, because we worked hard for the race. So, if it rains tomorrow we have the work done, and I think we did it in a good way,” Vinales said.

“The race pace is really good and I felt quite good with the bike. I set my lap time a little earlier than the rest, which can be a little bit tricky, but I needed to do it so I could concentrate on working on the race.

“In the last part of the practice we worked on the race distance and it felt good, the bike was working well. The tyre degradation is difficult for everyone, the tyres drop so much, so we need to understand which spec drops the least over 20 laps. It‘s difficult, but we will see what we can do.”

Vinales has never claimed three consecutive podiums in his premier class career in MotoGP but has the opportunity to do so this weekend for Yamaha and maintain his recent momentum.

The Spanish rider has surged to fifth place in the MotoGP riders’ standings but remains 100 points behind overall leader Marc Marquez.

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