Ahead of Sunday’s MotoGP outing at Brno, Maverick Viñales remains “really optimistic” about his prospects despite a disappointing showing in qualifying that led to a third row start.

Not for the first time in 2019, Viñales’ vast free practice potential went unrealised in Q2 as his decision to fit slick tyres on a damp but drying track backfired. “It is somehow impossible to create grip with our bike [in these conditions]," he said.

But here he was not alone. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli encountered similar struggles on slicks, while Valentino Rossi grabbed a last-dash sixth position using wets.

Rather than feeling angered, however, Viñales insisted he was “not disappointed.” Instead he insisted a strong race is possible, especially considering his comfort in Brno’s numerous heavy braking areas.

“Well, actually I'm not disappointed, because it's the decision we chose,” began the 24-year old. “We made a gamble, and now we will know for the next time that we will not put slicks when the track is like this.

“I went out, but immediately I saw that it is somehow impossible to create grip with our bike, and it's very difficult to do it. I think Fabio and Morbidelli had the same feeling as me, when they put the slick, it was very difficult.

“Anyway, we have to improve the strategy. I think today, a realistic position was fourth or fifth, and in a good shape with the last tyre in the wet, it was second or third. So we had a good chance, we made the wrong decision, so tomorrow I think we have to take more risk.

“I'm really optimistic. All the weekend has been great, even in the wet in FP3 and FP4, it was really good. We have now had five or six wet practices where we are into the top three, which is really good for us, and at different tracks. So the consistency in wet and dry is getting better.

“Tomorrow it will be a very exciting race. Starting from ninth is never easy, but somehow I can create a good situation, and I take as a positive that this weekend I feel great on the bike and I can brake very late going into the corners.

“So I think it's much better if you start in the front, but somehow I think we can create a good weekend even if we start in P9.”

The lack of speed in qualifying was particularly disappointing as Viñales had impressed in the two previous sessions, which were held in fully wet conditions for the most part.

The Catalan placed second in both FP3 and FP4, showing once again he has made real strides with the wet set-up of Yamaha’s M1.

“Well, I think that we are doing well in the wet,” he said. “In Le Mans in FP3 I was in the first position, then we made a mistake in qualifying, normally we are not very good in the strategy.

“And yeah, today here I was feeling really good. Honestly, the bike was working well, I was feeling great on the track, good grip, good laps, good rhythm. Even in the dry, I had a really good feeling.

“So we are going to keep the momentum, same feeling, same mentality. Tomorrow I start P9, it's true, but I start good, I have good first laps. Yesterday with the soft tire I felt great, so maybe tomorrow we have to take the gamble, go on the soft and see what can happen.”

 

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