Maverick Viñales believes he and the Monster Energy Yamaha team “are working in a perfect way” after he topped both free practice sessions on the first day of MotoGP running at Phillip Island.

The 24-year old was fastest in both wet and dry conditions, and showed an enviable pace in the dry FP2, which led many of his rivals to label him as the man to beat this weekend.

“This is a track that I really like,” Viñales said. “We are working in a perfect way. We found a good set-up straight away. That’s the most important. I kept doing laps and laps, trying to understand the way to ride to take out all the performance from the Yamaha.

“So I felt quite good on the bike. Still there are things to improve on the track. It’s about myself. We’ll keep on improving.

“It’s a track where I always enjoy riding. Today it seems we felt really good on the track. We found a good set-up straight away and I felt very comfortable on the bike. I could push.

“We need to keep working, as I said. At the moment I need laps, laps, laps trying to understand the potential of my bike and we will see if we can make any change. The way we did it was correct. This morning in the wet I did a lot of laps to understand and warm up the tyres.

“Then in dry I tried many tyres to find out what will be the race tyre. Tomorrow will be rain so we will see on Sunday where we are but we are quite happy.”

On his base setting that has saw him achieve recent podiums at Silverstone, Misano and Thailand, Viñales said, “Actually I found a base in Montmeló that I liked, [so] I can give my best. I continue like this, trying to understand the best way to ride the bike, to take out the maximum potential.

“You see already: they brought new parts and I needed to test them. But always keeping one bike in the same way, and riding the same way. For me it’s positive we’ve arrived at this track in good form. Straight away I found a good rhythm. That’s important. It’s a track where I always enjoy riding, wet or dry.

“I think the layout has very fast corners and a lot of flow between the corners, it’s something I really like. I can take the maximum from my riding style. It’s a track I know I will always be there at is this one.

“But you never know. Some years you can’t be at the level. But this year we are quite good. I’m actually really happy about the rhythm and the tyre degradation. We need to keep riding but in that way. We don’t have to change so much.”



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