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”.

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
Load comments
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

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

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021
The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022 Prime

The MotoGP rider dilemma facing Petronas SRT for 2022

The final pieces of the 2022 MotoGP rider market have yet to be finalised as Petronas SRT Yamaha faces several obstacles in replacing Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli. SRT’s preferred option has been locked into a KTM deal he doesn’t want, while its other target is managed by Rossi himself and wanted at his VR46 team.

MotoGP
Aug 10, 2021