Maverick Viñales was adamant Sunday’s MotoGP showing at Aragon was a “good race” when compared against his 2018 disaster at the same track, even if he lost out on a podium place in the final three laps.

The Catalan was the subject of a late double Ducati attack, as the advancing Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller pounced on laps 21 and 23 respectively, and the Yamaha sank from second to fourth while struggling with a used rear tyre.

Citing the need to test a host of new items for Yamaha over the race weekend, which featured two wet sessions (FP3 and warm-up), Viñales went into the race with an unfamiliar set-up.

As a result the final three laps were all about “survival” as he struggled to find rear grip, especially through Aragon’s eleven left corners.

“I raced with my standard bike, like Misano, which I think still has a little bit more than the new parts. In Buriram we will work [with them] again, we hope in Buriram to have time there and to try a little bit more.

“I think we need time because finally we make the race with a different set-up that I hadn’t tried in practice and I think it's not the best way to prepare for the race. So for sure in this track we needed a little bit more time.

“The warm-up wasn’t dry, maybe I would choose the soft tyre, I don’t know, but for us the hard was a good option. I played my cards from lap 10-20 but then I tried only to survive.”

Did the testing over the weekend cost him on Sunday? “Maybe yes,” he said. “At least [I’d have been] more prepared [for the race]. Better on the electronic. You work a little bit more on the race pace because I needed to try many things during the weekend.

“But that's the way to improve. If we didn’t try we cannot improve and finally when you are working for Yamaha factory you have to try things, sometimes they are good, sometimes not.

“In the last moments are not good because still there is a lot of room to improve on the new parts. They are not set-up in the perfect way as with the standard bike. Maybe I could be a little faster, but was second not first.

“First was very difficult. Marc had a really good rhythm today so still there are things to improve. Ducati showed that even if practice they are not there, finally they are there.”

Viñales lost second position to Dovizioso along the back straight, a move that was so easy for the Ducati rider, it bordered on embarrassing.

“Yes, I had no chance,” the Catalan admitted. “Even if I could jump on the back he was able to overtake me on the straight. So I had no chance to fight with Jack or Dovi.

“I tried my best as always. I think we did a good race. Last year here was a disaster and this year we've been close to being second. We needed a little bit more. Just one-second. So as I said we need to keep working. It's very important to understand the way to go.

“It's true that with the new parts I get quite a lot of speed, because in FP4 I was fifth for top speed, so I get a little bit more but we lose a lot in other places. We still need time to understand.”

On why he chose Michlin’s hard rear tyre compound, when the majority of others opted for the soft, Viñales explained, “The problem is that in FP4 I went with the soft and I had a very big drop. I don’t know why. This made us choose the hard.

“Because I didn’t have a really good feeling and as I said this morning the plan was to try the soft, make ten laps and then see how was the soft. Maybe if it was good we would have raced with the soft. We'll know for next year and that's important.”

 

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