Viñales: Overhauling Márquez won't be easy
11 October 2017 – Yamaha's Maverick Viñales has accepted that overhauling Marc Márquez in this year's title battle "will not be easy" but has vowed to keep fighting.
Viñales opened the campaign with back-to-back wins, having dominated pre-season testing, but has triumphed just once since, when he edged team-mate Valentino Rossi in May's French Grand Prix.
He has scored only three podiums since his most recent victory, and came home only fourth in San Marino and Aragón, despite starting from pole on both occasions.
As a result, Viñales trails Márquez by 28 points, with 100 up for grabs across the remaining quartet of events, and has conceded that catching his rival will not be an easy task.
"I hope to do a good job and be able to collect more points for the championship, which is crucial to continue fighting for the title," said Viñales.
"For the next races we have to try to work even more than usual.
"We have to keep fighting and working with high motivation, even though it will not be easy to complete the last part of the season and bridge the gap between the championship leader and me.
"I will try to work even harder and I arrive in Japan with the aim to learn and be even stronger.
"I'm convinced that, with the support of the amazing fans at the Motegi circuit, we will be able to give our 100 per cent."
Yamaha test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga will also join Viñales and Rossi aboard a YZR-M1 this weekend, making his first appearance of the campaign.