Maverick Vinales says he spent the majority of Friday practice concentrating on finding a suitable setup with Yamaha’s new parts rather than focusing on outright fast lap times ahead of the Aragon MotoGP.

The Monster Yamaha rider topped FP2 but still ended the day over a second slower than Marc Marquez’s leading effort set in the morning session of 1m 46.869s.

Despite heading up the timesheet in the afternoon session, Vinales has dismissed his own lap times by explaining his main focus was on Yamaha’s new parts including the Suzuki-style double exhaust plus the new carbon fibre swingarm and front wheel cover which all debuted at last month’s Misano test.

Vinales feels key progress has been found with the exhaust, which is thought to help with power delivery, as he looks to integrate the new parts to his current YZR-M1 package.

“Things are going well so far. We’re trying the new parts at the moment and are working a lot on the bike,” Vinales confirmed. “I’m not really concentrating on my rhythm or on setting fast laps, because we need to work a lot on the bike and try to understand in which direction to go.

“We are working really hard and are very pleased with the lap times because things are going the right way. We need to keep working, keep exploring the new bike items and see if we can get an advantage with the new exhaust.”

With rain expected to arrive at Aragon throughout the rest of the MotoGP race weekend, Vinales also feels confident he’ll have the pace to challenge at the sharp end in wet conditions even with a lack of representative running having completed Friday practice in dry and sunny weather.

“We’ve improved a lot in the rain, so I’m not really worried should it be wet tomorrow,” he said.

“I know that we can be in the top 5 if it rains, so that’s very important, but our main goal is getting on the first row tomorrow, have a good start on Sunday, and try to move forward.

“This is a track where I’ve always been fast, so I‘m very pleased to be in these first places today.”

 

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