Vinales ‘much better’ on Aprilia than Yamaha after early 2022 races

Maverick Vinales thinks he is “absolutely much better” on the Aprilia MotoGP bike in 2022 than the Yamaha at the same stage of the season in previous years.

The nine-time MotoGP race winner will contest his 10th race as an Aprilia rider at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, having joined the brand amid a tumultuous 2021 campaign after his relationship with Yamaha s has deteriorated dramatically.

Vinales is currently 14th in the standings after scoring 19 points with a best result of seventh in Argentina, while team-mate Aleix Espargaro guided Aprilia to victory in the same event.

Despite the lack of outstanding results in 2022, Vinales believes he is “close” to being a favorite on the Aprilia and feels much stronger than he was on the Yamaha after the start of a season.

“Yeah, absolutely, I feel a lot better because the line we’re taking is going up,” he said, when asked by if his form is now better than when he was winning races. races and scored podiums on the Yamaha. .

“It’s going up faster than expected. I don’t always check the results. I check the feel, I check the lap times.

“A weekend will come when we will put it all together, that’s for sure. It’s a question of time, a question of knowing above all how to do a little more with the bike because sometimes I fight a lot.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose/ Motorsport footage

“In previous races I fought a lot with the bike and even struggled to push a bit more.

“I’m just one step away from being able to fight for the top all the time.

But it will come when I do [everything as] one on the bike. So, we just need to ride, to adapt without pressure because in the end we still have this year to develop the bike, to put myself at ease.

“It is clear that if we continue the work we are doing, we will be in the lead. But when I do that, I want to be there every weekend.”

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This season marks the first since 2016 that Vinales has not scored a podium or victory in at least one of the first four races, but insists he has never felt better on a MotoGP bike than he did. it does now on the Aprilia.

“Honestly, I never feel the way I feel now because I think I only have nine races with the Aprilia and I feel like everything is accelerating at a very fast speed,” a- he added.

“So we just have to be patient, not lose our way because I think we are working very well.

“I have to say that after the warm-up in Mandalika I found a good feeling on the bike and we just kept that feeling.

“So that means we’ve taken a big step on the basic setup. Now it’s about trying new parts, seeing if it’s better or not, that’s all. We’re very close .”

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