Maverick Vinales does not set himself any goals for his second MotoGP race weekend as Aprilia rider in Misano this weekend, at least in public.
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The former Yamaha factory star finished 18th in his RS-GP racing debut in Aragon, 27 seconds ahead of race winner Francesco Bagnaia and 18 seconds behind new team-mate Aleix Espargaro.
In addition to the experience gained last weekend, Vinales has the added benefit of an earlier two-day test at the Misano circuit but says he will be “happy” if he can take a step forward with his feeling this weekend.
Since he has never driven a V4 engine before, the 26-year-old is still adapting to the changed braking and cornering speed characteristics compared to the M1.
“Even if the situation is different, since I have already tested here, we will approach Misano in the same way as Aragón,” said Vinales, who in the private test with 1: 32.4 minutes his best race lap on the way to victory at Misano for Yamaha in last season.
“The most important thing for us is to gain kilometers and experience. The adaptation to the Aprilia is going well, but of course there are still many aspects in which we can and must improve.”
“For this reason in particular, I don’t set myself any goals. I’m satisfied if I have made a step forward in my feelings with the RS-GP by the end of the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Espargaro will be aiming for a podium challenge at Aprilia’s home race after following his groundbreaking third place at Silverstone and finishing fourth at Aragon.
“We’ll be on the track to pick up where we left off – competitive in all conditions,” said Espargaro. “We are in a positive moment. The RS-GP is growing constantly and we have to stay focused from here until the end of the season.”
It was planned that rookie Lorenzo Savadori, who will be replaced by Vinales, will come back on track as a wildcard this weekend.
However, the Italian has not yet fully recovered from his ankle injury sustained in Austria and will now save his strength for the two-day official test that follows.