The Spaniard got off to a successful start at the Qatar GP on the factory Yamaha in 2021, but had problems from then on, as the relationship between the two parties fell irreparably in the months that followed.
Vinales was dropped by Yamaha mid-season after being banned from the Austrian Grand Prix after it was discovered he had deliberately tried to damage the engine on his M1 at the Styrian GP – something he said was a consequence of boiling over Frustration.
The nine-time MotoGP race winner landed at Aprilia from the San Marino GP, made steady progress in adapting to the RS-GP and achieved a best-of-eighth at the Emilia Romagna GP.
When asked by Motorsport.com ahead of the Valencia GP this weekend how he would sum up his chaotic 2021 season, he said: “I have to honestly say I’m sad that the season is coming to an end.
“I am very sad, I wanted to continue. Yes, my season started very late to be honest and I think it’s a season where you have to learn.
“We have to learn everything. So I’ve learned a lot, I take things differently and that’s important.
“So we have to keep working. We have a very nice challenge, so I hope December will go by very quickly and we will be in February [soon] so that we can get on our bikes. “
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
After his first test at the Aprilia in Misano in late August, Vinales said it was the happiest he had ever seen in his Grand Prix career.
When asked if he was happier at the end of 2021 than when he started in March when he won a race, he added: “Yes, to be honest, I’m very happy, in life and here in the paddock, it’s always like that.” .
“A lot has happened, but in the end I can race, be in a great factory and a great team, and that’s the most important thing for me right now.”