Sunday with a double in the Aprilia Racing Team. If, on the one hand, we’re celebrating Aleix Espargarò's splendid podium, on the other side of the garage, there’s a completely different mood for Maverick Viñales. Forced to take off from the fifth row of the line-up after a more complicated qualifying session than expected, the Spanish rider had a decidedly uneventful race at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, crossing the finish line in tenth place, 18 seconds from the winner and just under 10 from his teammate.
"I’m very disappointed this weekend, because we had the pace to get ahead,” he said. “Unfortunately, we were slow in the FP3, failing to get direct access into Q2. This complicates everything. You can't help but get into Q2 when you have a pace like mine. There’s something wrong, and we need to figure out what it is to work better."
Viñales’ adaptation process with the RS-GP is far from over.
"I don't feel good about the bike. I’m not confident," he said. "I go fast, even if I don't feel good. On the one hand, that’s positive but, on the other, it's not."
The fact that Aleix Espargarò is competitive doesn't change that.
"Aleix uses a different riding style, so it’s useless to make a direct comparison. He manages to fully take advantage of the bike and I don't, especially with new tires."
Viñales is convinced that the situation can change, but Aprilia must also take a step in his direction.
"When I have the right sensations, I’ll go really fast, I have no doubt,” he emphasized. “I don’t want to change my riding style, because it’s what brought me here and allowed me to win a lot. They have to give me a bike with which I feel comfortable, because I don’t understand anything during the first laps. I feel lost. Then I can adapt and ride fast. I'm not even at fifty percent of my real potential. We have to make sure that the bike accommodates me and can use my style. When I'm fast, the race is already over. You don't need to do 1'39"7 on the last lap, you have to do it on the first."