While a Yamaha has never seriously challenged for COTA victory in the past, team director Massimo Meregalli is convinced that can change at the hands of Vinales or team-mate Valentino Rossi this weekend.
“The track lay-out is quite interesting and, though previously it didn’t play to our advantage, we will start this race weekend in full-attack mode,” he said. “We will use the first free practice sessions to understand how to make this race another great one for Yamaha, as we strive for the 500th victory.
“Our riders are both in great form and both enjoy the Grand Prix of The Americas. We are looking to get some strong results again and can’t wait to get started!”
Vinales starts round three with a 14-point lead over Rossi in the world championship standings.