Raise your hand for anyone who introduced themselves at the end of the Aragon weekend to see the name Maverick Vinales at the top of the table on Friday night in Misano. Top Gun had a perfect free practice this morning. before the rain thwarted all plans, set the obviously unbeaten best time and gave him a P1 that is not worth any points, but gives him a lot of self-confidence.
Because a driver, no matter how long he talks about a lengthy process, a conservative approach and the desire not to overdo it, in the end wants to defeat all his rivals on the track and today Maverick managed to put a smile on the faces of to conjure up the men from Noale, who saw today how successful the decision was to bring Vinales to the RS-GP. Many observers envisioned that Maverick was in trouble at Yamaha, mostly from a human perspective and what he said in conversation with journalists at the end of the day only confirmed the idea when the driver was asked about the differences in the work system of the two manufacturers.
“The work system is very different because it’s difficult to compare to what I’ve done at Yamaha and I don’t even want to do it,” said Vinales. I have the feeling that I can work in many more areas that I couldn’t before and that will help me to feel more comfortable on the bike and, above all, to be more constant about what I want to do and what I was previously aiming for. We’re working in that direction and I’m also excited about the Misano tests we’re going to do on Tuesday because we’re going to try different pieces to see if I can get any faster. “
How was it for you to see your name at the top of the timesheets today?
“I feel very good on the bike, but I’m not thinking about the ranking yet. I prefer to concentrate on my feeling on the bike, because that’s really the most important thing at the moment. I keep learning, also in order to work with the team in the best possible way. So we have to keep understanding a lot of things, but it’s good to be in the front, that’s clear. You feel a lot calmer, a lot more comfortable because you feel like you have the speed. But whatever it takes now, we have to keep a lot of calm and build a solid step. We try and the most important thing today was that I tried the bike in the wet, which I only drove one lap in the test because there was too much water. But it feels like a really good potential, so it was good. It was very nice because I got good feedback from the bike and that means a lot. “
Have you been better at braking and cornering today?
“Today I felt a lot better with the front and cornering than in Aragon. But I think it’s normal, it was my first race on a new bike, my first with a different team and it wasn’t easy. Here in Misano I had already done a few laps to get used to the bike, So I immediately pushed and we were faster than in the test. So it means we are building and taking a step forward. That’s the positive point of today. “
What, in your opinion, does this significant advance over Aragon depend on?
“It’s better for me because I’ve already tested the bike here, so I knew exactly what to expect. I can anticipate his reactions, correct the lines better, build confidence with the bike on every route. When I was in Alcañiz, the first few laps I felt like a rookie who had never ridden a MotoGP motorcycle! Since it’s too different, I have to use very different lines. In Misano this seems a lot easier as I already understand how to ride this bike on this route. I can anticipate a few moves, I can correct a few things. Everything here revolves around feeling, trust, understanding the bike and the route. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. That’s very positive because I felt good, today was a good day, I didn’t feel at my limit. And yet I keep learning. So it’s very positive. “
Does the rain help you or do you prefer to only ride in dry conditions?
“I would prefer to ride in the dry because I still have to explore many aspects of the bike. But I’m not going to change my approach if we all have to do sessions in the wet. I will try to gain experience, both myself and the team. I still have to understand a lot of things about the bicycle. and this is possible even when it rains. In the end I think I can take further steps forward with this Aprilia, at the moment I’m not making the best of it. Compared to the tests, I already feel a step ahead, little by little I will get where I think because I find the progress that I am making to be very solid. “
Could you fight for access to Q2 here?
“I knew that I already had excellent potential on the flying lap, and I understood that during the tests. But I confirmed it here this morning and also kept excellent pace. Qualifying remains the unknown, however, because since I don’t know the bike perfectly, I have to work very hard to get a perfect flying lap. Tomorrow I have to be very fast to get into Q2, I don’t know if I have the potential, we are all very close, as always.
In any case, it was nice to end the day in front of everyone today …
“I liked seeing my name in front of everyone, I was feeling fast. I already know there will be other tracks coming where we will fight more, but at least I am sure I can be very quick and that is important. However, my mentality does not change because I know that I am at the center of a process that will also be protracted. One day it will get better, one day it will get worse. But the most important thing will be to keep working hard to find the consistency and to stay ahead. “