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MotoGP Sepang February Testing

Aprilia signs ex-Alonso F1 trainer to help Vinales in MotoGP

Aprilia has signed physical trainer Fabrizio Maganzi, who previously worked with double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, to help Maverick Vinales in MotoGP in 2022.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Vinales joined Aprilia from last year’s Aragon Grand Prix after parting ways with Yamaha in August, after an incident in Austria where he was found to have deliberately tried to damage his M1’s engine in the Styrian GP.

Embarking on his first full campaign on the RS-GP in 2022, Aprilia is working hard to extract the best from the nine-time MotoGP race winner by forming “a working group”.

Part of this is the hiring of Maganzi to help condition Vinales’ training regime, with the former having helped Alonso in 2005 and 2006 when the then-Renault driver won both of his F1 world titles.

The trainer has also worked with ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and 2012 Spanish GP winner Pastor Maldonado.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola said: “Yes, we have decided with his [Vinales’] agent to form a working group to get the best out of Maverick.

“Fabrizio has lived through Fernando's winning era at Renault. He has a lot of experience as a trainer.”

Rivola also revealed Aprilia has brought in a sports psychologist for Vinales to work with – something he has previously refused to do in the past.

“Maverick has been very brave,” Rivola added. “With the arrival of these two pieces, he wants to try to prevent the things that conditioned him in the past from happening again.

“I come from a world [F1] where these practices are very common.

“We want to put Maverick in the best possible frame of mind so that he is only focused on riding. We don't want him to have distractions of any kind.

“Now, in the test, it's easy [not to lose focus]. But then the races will come, the paddock will open up.

“We have to try to keep him in the right focus. He is the first to want it.”

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Vinales ended the Sepang test fifth overall on the combined standings, with Aprilia teammate Aleix Espargaro second.

Speaking on Saturday, Vinales says he still has work to do to adapt to the Aprilia – but he is getting there.

“Well, every day I’m learning a little bit more,” he said.

“Still I don’t know the limit of the bike and still it’s a little bit far away from where I’m pushing right now.

“For me, what is important is I understand where I can push to make the lap time.

“Before [at Yamaha] I pushed in a different way, but if I try to push in the same way I can’t do the lap time on the Aprilia.

“So, I need to change a little bit the mind, but it’s not easy.

“But we are arriving, so the important point and where I feel good is we are riding fast without pushing at the maximum.

“I feel like I can be much, much stronger with this bike than the previous one.”

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