Buriram was the circuit where Maverick Vinales made a big change to the balance of his M1 last year, moving more weight to the rear of the bike.

The Spaniard found a 'really good feeling, really good feedback' from the set-up and went on to finish a close third (+0.270s) in the inaugural Thai GP, then claim Yamaha's only victory of the season two races later in Phillip Island.

Vinales returns to Buriram this weekend boosted by a much stronger Aragon performance than a year ago - fourth place compared with tenth - helped by a big step in his early race pace.

“In Aragon we found the way to be strong in the first laps of the race and that was an important point for me," said Vinales, whose podium chances were also hindered by the Yamaha's lack of top speed against the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller.

"From lap 1 to lap 15 is where I struggled a lot earlier on this season, so we need to bring this improvement with us to Buriram. We arrive in a really good shape and we‘re feeling positive because last year I did a good race.

"The Chang circuit is very demanding because of the high temperatures but I think that it‘s a track that suits us quite well, and also the tyres work very well here. We have a really good atmosphere in the team, and we are doing a great job.

"I hope to be more competitive in Thailand than I was at the previous round and to be closer to the top riders."

Just eleventh after round six of this season, Vinales took Yamaha's only victory of the year so far in Assen and has since climbed to fifth in the standings, ten points clear of team-mate Valentino Rossi.

However, Vinales is also within nine points of Suzuki's Alex Rins and third in the world championship: "As I said many times, our goal right now is to always be the first Yamaha and to try to fight for third position in the general classification."

While Rossi has used the new carbon fibre swingarm and double exhaust at recent events, Vinales has been more cautious, racing with the standard parts.

However, after gathering more data on the exhaust during practice at Aragon, Vinales suggested he intended to do the same with the new swingarm in Buriram.

 

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