Maverick Vinales says his “mentality” is not focused on what Yamaha stablemate and MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo can produce at the Czech Grand Prix.
Petronas SRT rider Quartararo has machine parity with Vinales for 2020, and leads him by 10 points in the standings after dominant wins at the Spanish and Andalusian GPs at Jerez last month.
With the pair set to be team-mates at the factory Yamaha squad next season, there is keen interest in the dynamic that will develop between Quartararo and Vinales this year.
Having been unable to challenge Quartararo at both Jerez races, Vinales says his only objective right now is “to be on the podium” and is solely focused on his own performances.
“I don’t know, we will see how the race goes,” Vinales said when asked if it was important to beat Quartararo this weekend.
“I mean, our main objective is to be on the podium.
“And you know, this is the first objective we have for the weekend.
“Then, if I have the chance to win the race I will try.
“But anyway, my mentality is not on Fabio, it’s on myself, trying to improve every day my bike, my feelings, and then we will see.
“In the race you see everything.
“So, we will try to be there, we will try to be smart and we will try to take the maximum performance of the bike and from myself.”
On Thursday Quartararo brushed off suggestions he was championship favourite, admitting it was “not correct” to be thinking about the title after just two rounds despite the shortened nature of the 2020 campaign.
Vinales ended Friday’s running at Brno fifth overall and just over a tenth off of Quartararo’s timesheet-topping pace.
Commenting on his Friday, Vinales said: “It’s totally different conditions here [compared to Jerez].
“Jerez was a perfect track, no bumps, perfect grip all the way. Here seemed to be the opposite.
“Anyway, we were quite good today, we were just 0.1 seconds back and I didn’t think I had my greatest day on the bike.
“So I am quite optimistic because even with the struggles, on the rhythm we are there, and also on the fast lap.”