Vinales says Aprilia test ‘happiest’ he’s ever been in MotoGP

Maverick Vinales says his two-day private test for Aprilia earlier this week at Misano was the happiest he’s been on a MotoGP bike in “probably my life”.

Listen to this article

The nine-time MotoGP race-winner was ousted from the factory Yamaha squad earlier this month following a suspension by the team after he deliberately tried to damage his bike in the Styrian Grand Prix.

Vinales had already made the decision to quit Yamaha a year earlier than his current contract period was due to expire as the relationship between himself and the marque deteriorated dramatically across 2021, with Aprilia signing the Spaniard for next season.

He made his debut on the Aprilia at a two-day test at Misano on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will make his race debut on the bike at Aragon next weekend.

When asked by Motorsport.com if his test on the Aprilia was the happiest he’s been this year in MotoGP, Vinales replied: “Probably my life, [I’ve never had] a time when I am more happy because after five years [at Yamaha] there have been ups and downs and I didn’t understand many things.

“At the end I said, ‘what is going on’, but as soon as I jumped to Aprilia I know my potential, I know what I’m able to do even more and it was nice to jump quick because I have the opportunity to do six races.

“This is much better than to do just five days of test, and I will try to prepare well with Aleix [Espargaro] the 2022 [bike], which is very important for me.”

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Aprilia Racing

Vinales admitted on Wednesday he was “nervous” about his Aprilia debut, particularly because the RS-GP’s engine is completely different to what he rode at Suzuki and at Yamaha since 2015.

The Spaniard says he was surprised at how quickly he was able to adapt to the V4-powered Aprilia, while admitting his test and race plans were not expected so soon.

“Honestly, I expected to be at home until November waiting to ride the bike at the test,” he said.

“But this opportunity is made first of all because I leave [Yamaha], and because Aprilia gave me the opportunity.

“Basically, what makes me happy is all the guys are working really hard, their enthusiasm is really strong.

“And also coming from a podium [at Silverstone with Espargaro], it’s the best time to join the team, to try to give them the feedback.

“For sure Aleix and [Lorenzo] Savadori did an amazing job because they were very fast and the bike is working well.

“So, I was quite surprised because the adaptation to the bike has been quite fast.”

He added: “Basically what I need to change is the way of braking, it’s a bit different.

“This is a big learning process because the way you can brake with the Aprilia is totally different [to the Yamaha].

“So, I will need laps and also Aleix is a very hard braker, so I will need to learn a little bit from him how he does this strong braking, but I think this will come with confidence.”

Read Also:

Vinales went on to say that he knew he wanted to race the Aprilia at Aragon “as soon as I did three runs with the bike” on Tuesday.

During his first media debrief as an Aprilia rider, Vinales was not allowed to speak about his Yamaha split, but did say it was “fair” for the marque to let him join the team as soon as he has in 2021 because “everybody has to have the opportunity to leave things in the past”.

shares
comments

Related video

Dixon keeps SRT MotoGP seat for Aragon GP, McPhee gets Moto2 debut
Previous article

Dixon keeps SRT MotoGP seat for Aragon GP, McPhee gets Moto2 debut

Next article

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Prime

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Prime

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Prime

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won't just be Marquez's speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Prime

Why it won't just be Marquez's speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Prime

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former teammate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider.

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time Prime

Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy.

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Prime

Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Motorsport.com - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Prime

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about.

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022