SportMotoGPViñales: "We have identified the exact point of the...

Viñales: "We have identified the exact point of the Aprilia that we must improve"

Maverick Viñales started 2021 as a Yamaha rider, with a contract until the end of 2022 and with a promising start by winning the opening race of the championship in Qatar .

However, things took a dramatic turn at the end of June, to the point that the driver asked to cancel the agreement for his last contract season, giving up more than six million euros.

This new contractual situation for Maverick activated Aprilia’s interest in taking over his services for 2022, immediately reaching an agreement that economically significantly reduced the rider’s income.

Misconduct with the official team’s M1 at the Styrian Grand Prix race led Yamaha to suspend Maverick, first, and definitively terminate his contract with a sudden death on August 20.

Without a bike for the final stretch of the season and with a contract with Aprilia for 2022, both parties decided to bring forward Maverick’s debut with the RS-GP, with which he has contested five of the last six races this year, with an eighth place in Emilia Romagna as the best result.

Maverick got on the Aprilia for the first time at the end of August in a test in Misano, and made his definitive debut at the Aragón Grand Prix (September 12), where he finished 18th. At that time, the Catalan runner assured that the final part of the season was going to serve to prepare for the 2022 course.

Last Sunday, after finishing 16th in the last race of the year at Valencia, asked him if he had managed to meet the target he had set for himself.

“The objective has been achieved, because we really needed to see where we were and what we had to improve. The Aprilia is a bike that only manages to go fast with Aleix (Espargaró) and we have been able to see that we are getting closer and improving the bike. For the moment I would say that we have understood, above all, the areas that can be improved and on which points to work more”, explained Viñales.

Once the problem and the needs of the motorcycle are understood, the question is how difficult it is to solve it.

“I think it is something that can be easily improved, and this is positive, especially because I am not quite comfortable on the bike in terms of position, riding style, and yet I can make good times . The truth is that when I find a bit of feeling I go fast. So there is nothing more to say, just work hard and keep going.”

“I am happy because we have been able to identify the exact point that needs to be improved and that is the most important thing that had to be done in these five races, so I think the objective has been achieved, for me personally it has been achieved”, he insisted.

“Sunday, for example, at the beginning it was very difficult, I made some mistakes, in the end I finished 18 seconds (behind the winner, Pecco Bagnaia), going three or four times off the track and getting stuck behind some drivers. Really, the day we can start from the front (on the grid) we can be there”.

It is a bit surprising how confident Maverick is that the RS-GP can be improved, a bike whose evolution has been going on for years without fully exploiting it.

“The challenge is really very big, because there are many factors, it is a totally different bike, a very different team and, above all, a projection that has started in a different way. In any case, it is something beautiful, it is a challenge that motivates me, and that is the most important thing for me”, he explained.

“Now we have a long winter to work on and if it were up to me, let it go quickly. I already want to be in the Jerez tests (this week), Sepang (February) and start in Qatar (March), I’m really looking forward to it”.

Maverick wanted to highlight the fact that he had brought forward his debut with Aprilia to prepare with ‘real fire’ for the 2022 season.

“The assessment is positive, very positive, because we have been able to understand, and above all confirm, what I need, and what points we have to work on this winter, and that is important. Sometimes in the tests we have a lot of grip and that can be detrimental because it masks the problems, because the grip solves them for you. Then you get to the race or a circuit with little grip and that’s where you realize the real problem. The good thing is that we have been able to do these races as if they were a test on Grand Prix weekends and we know exactly where the problem is and how to solve it. The objective was to identify the problems, we have done that and for that I am very happy”.

For the boy from Roses , the season has been a true roller coaster of positive and negative emotions, both on a sporting level with his separation from Yamaha and signing for Aprilia, and on a private level, getting married, being a father and having to live through death of his cousin Dean Berta Viñales.

On a sporting level, Maverick wants to turn the page on the year we closed.

“Honestly, I don’t give myself a grade, it’s a season that I want to erase in the sense that I haven’t been at my best level, I don’t like to think backwards, I feel that there is still a lot to discover and a lot to give and I really want to. The truth is that I have a very important challenge ahead of me with Aprilia and I take it very seriously, I want to win with them”, he challenges himself.

“The assessment I would make of this year is my self-confidence, that is the real assessment, I have a lot of confidence in myself and I know what I am capable of doing”.

Finally, Maverick is not hiding in the face of the next season and his ambitions.

“We have to start in Qatar to the maximum, there is no other way. I know very well why they have brought me to this project, so we have to start from the first race next year at the top”, settles the Moto3 world champion in 2013.

(Click on the link or on the image to see the photos of the 2021 season of Maverick in MotoGP)

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