Vinales: Qualifying “still complicated” on Aprilia MotoGP bike

Maverick Vinales says qualifying on the Aprilia MotoGP bike is “still complicated” for him and admits that he'd expected to be higher than 10th on the grid for the San Marino Grand Prix.

Vinales has been strong all weekend at Misano having first tested the Aprilia at the Italian venue ahead of his Aragon debut last week.

Ending Friday fastest of all, Vinales eased directly into Q2 and went on to qualify 10th on the RS-GP, 1.056 seconds off pole, but only 0.184 off eighth-placed team-mate Aleix Espargaro.

Vinales says a combination of still needing to understand the bike and a change in grip from the morning to the afternoon contributed to him being unable to break into the 1m31s in Q2.

“Yes, I hoped to be a bit faster, especially to arrive in 1m31s, but somehow I was not able,” Vinales said when asked by Motorsport.com if he was disappointed not be higher up on the grid. “It’s true I still need to learn the bike to be fast on one lap because I lose a lot, especially on gas.

“But, it’s something also we need to fix because the bike feeling changed a little bit from FP3 to FP4, so now we need to check. I need to learn the bike. Especially when the grip is not fantastic, I need to understand how to go faster.

“On one lap, you have to ride in a very different way and this is still complicated for me. But we’ll keep working, this weekend we’re much, much closer than the other weekend. So, actually this is the positive point.

“We are pleased, we are learning a lot, we are trying different bikes, which always gives you different feedback. And I think step by step we’re going to get closer and closer.”

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Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The MotoGP paddock will stay at Misano for a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

When asked if this weekend would be important for him to find a direction to work in at the test, Vinales added: “Every session is a test, every session. So, we are trying, the team starts to understand me, I start to understand a little bit more the bike, what I need to be fast.

“The complicated part of this job is to understand how to go fast, so at this moment I think I’m looking for lap time in the wrong place. I need to learn, also everything becomes more difficult on the time attack.

“Everyone is going very fast, you try, right now I make a lot of mistakes during one lap. So, I’m not too worried. We need to keep learning, to keep working.

“This is our point, and this is good, because the more I struggle now, the better I’m going to be later.”

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