Vinales: Assen will be a tough race

Suzuki team rider Maverick Vinales feels that after successful testing at Catalunya he foresees the team being more of a threat ahead of this weekend's Dutch MotoGP at Assen.

The 21-year-old Vinales has looked good on the Suzuki GSX-RR this season which prompted the Yamaha Movistar team to sign him up and join Valentino Rossi as part of next season's MotoGP racing outfit. 

In the rider standings, Vinales is fifth with 72 points after seven races but is well behind Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez at the top sitting on 125 points.

The Spaniard picked up a podium at the French Grand Prix on May 8 when finishing third at Le Mans. He also has two fourth place finishes so far. 

In an interview with the MotoGP official site, Vinales acknowledged that the bike set-up was not yet quite ready to be challenging the top riders but added it was improving all the time. 

“The work we did in Catalunya on Monday after the race was very useful to better investigate the potential of the new specs of the chassis," said Vinales. 

"I've been struggling with the rear grip lately and the set-ups we found can apparently help me in finding a better efficiency with traction. This is an important step forward for me, according to my riding style. 

“We are constantly making progress technical-wise and the results are following; we are consistently fighting with the top competitors, although we still miss a little bit that we need to fight properly for even better positions. 

"Assen will be an important and yet tough race, we have to try to finalise the best set-up possible according to the new chassis and be really focused.”