Maverick Viñales was disappointed to qualify off the front row at the 2019 MotoGP season finale at Valencia after strong performances through free practice, and has pinned his hopes on making his way to the front on lap one.

The 24-year old, who won last time out in Malaysia, had previously stated he would need to start well and break clear in order to win at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, due to its sizeable main straight.

On Saturday Viñales was the only man that appeared capable of challenging world champion Marc Marquez. But knowing the strengths of Honda’s RC213V on the main straight, the Yamaha rider devised a plan to attempt a break early on.

That now appears a tall order, as Viñales could only manage fourth in Saturday’s Q2 session, when he struggled to get the most out of his second set of tyres. Main rival Marquez will start from second.

“For sure it matters because first row was the objective today,” said Viñales. “We were able to fight for pole but I didn’t get an incredible feeling with the second set of tyres so I didn’t have the chance to push, I improved just a little bit.

“For sure it’s going to be a big job the first lap but we want to try to make it good and to win some places if we can.

“I don’t know, everything matters about the first lap, if I get a good start and I can be clear in corner 1 and 2 I think I have the possibility because in the last laps I always feel very strong on used tyres, also middle of the race. So we will see, we are very focused on the start.

“For sure there are places but right now with our bike it’s very difficult because we have only 2-3 corners to overtake and on the race it’s tricky. But for sure we’re going to try our best, it’s the last race so we are going to go for everything.”

 

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