Maverick Vinales continued his good form so far at the Losail International Circuit as he took third place in the opening MotoGP qualifying session of the year.

But Vinales was not just fast on one lap, as the 26 year-old confirmed Yamaha’s status as a race favourite by topping FP4 shortly before qualifying began.

Yamaha’s early race struggles in 2020 were one of the biggest talking points throughout the pre-season, so securing a front row start was crucial especially given the power deficit to the Ducati bikes that could play a big factor in tomorrow's race. 

Happy with the day’s work, Vinales said: "Yes I think today we can be very satisfied in the end. 

"Today was a bit difficult to go in the 1m 52s for us but we know we have some margin to improve it for the next race which is really important. 

"We have a clear objective in mind, and tomorrow for sure will be a difficult race but we need to have a clear strategy to understand where we are and what we can do. 

"Finally we have been working very hard for the race and we will see tomorrow if we can get a good result."

It wasn’t the easiest of starts to the weekend however for Vinales, who was without his crew chief Esteban Garcia. 

Garcia was forced to isolate away from the track due to an unclear PCR test, but made his return today following FP3. 

"Yes, fortunately he was with us. Esteban knows me really well," said Vinales after qualifying. 

"He understands the way I work and it was not easy without him, so Friday was quite tough and also FP3, but in the end we solved quite a lot of problems and I found something nice in FP4. 

"So tomorrow we will try to get the job done. There are many, many riders that can win the race but we will see."