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MotoGP, Vinales: "I’m happy that Marquez is back and I hope to have a duel with him"

"I am happy to see him return after so much suffering, he has shown so much courage. What a day today, I feel I have a great opportunity with this Aprilia and I know I have not yet found the limit"

MotoGP: Vinales: "I’m happy that Marquez is back and I hope to have a duel with him"

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Maverick Vinales made his debut on an Aprilia at Misano a year ago, during a private test. The sensations were immediately good, but the results he obtained in the first part of his Noale adventure did not live up to his name. But time has proved Maverick and Massimo Rivola right, as today the Top Gun proved once more that he has achieved great harmony with the RS-GP, a very different bike from the Suzuki and Yamaha he had ridden previously in MotoGP.

Vinales ended Friday with the 5th fastest time, but it is above all the pace shown in FP2 that is impressive, with the Spaniard able to hammer out lap after lap on a benchmark pace. He is clearly satisfied with the way things are going and in the briefing with journalists at the end of the day all this satisfaction was evident in what he had to say.

"What a day, I felt great on the bike. It's a pity that I didn't manage to put together a perfect lap with the new tires, but on the race tyre I was able to do a good rhythm and it seems we have a great opportunity. We have to be clever all weekend and we have to push very hard. I’m feeling every time better on the bike and Misano is a track I enjoy to ride. It’s kind of amazing how much you can improve in one year. I did a 31.8 with medium tyres [in FP2] and last year qualifying was 32.3 I think. I improved so much. I’m so happy.”

Where do you think you can improve?

“Sector four… we can improve sector four a lot and then little by little sector one, two and three. Actually I think that tomorrow if it doesn’t rain we have to be in the front row. This is our objective. I don’t know yet where the limit is. Of course, I’m starting to feel that I can switch off for one lap and I can push very hard. Of course I will crash, this is clear because I still need to find the limit. For me it’s very positive in my mind that without knowing how much faster I can go I’m there. At the moment I’m able to fight for the race [win]. I’m very happy with all the work we are doing with Aprilia. The tests will be important, I will have some new things to try to be even more comfortable and I can't wait to try them. "

Is this bike very different from the Aprilia you debuted on?

"Now the biggest difference compared to last year is the stability on the bike in the fast areas, now it moves a lot less. I don't think it depends on the aerodynamics, I think it's the bike, the chassis. It gives a lot of confidence. Last year I was suffering here, now I'm back very fast in the same places where I was fast in the past ".

Is helping Aleix in your plans if required?

“Of course I can help Aleix because I’m riding very fast. I’m riding very fast, very precise but not only in one, but in five races we have been constantly at the top. It gives you more information about the corners and about how open the gas, how we brake, how we ride the bike and of course, this is a help.”

What about the rumours about a change of crew chief in your garage?

“At the moment I have no idea on that. We just keep focused on the job and if it stays like this you should ask Rivola. At this point they never told me nothing because they want me to be concentrated on this year. With Mattarollo we are working well and the way we are approaching the races is great. For me it makes no sense right now to start thinking about crew chiefs, mechanics or whatever. I keep my eyes on the prize, on the objective and I keep working.”

Do you think you are at a higher level now than in your years with Yamaha?

"The levels are different than in previous years. Now we are all faster than in previous years. I am not yet at the point where I feel my best in every corner and this is very important because it shows how high our potential is. I think that today I could have improved by half a second with the soft, but maybe that was the limit for the conditions when I tried. I was very fast on the pace. "

Are you worried about the rain?

"When it rains it's about sensations. I usually feel pretty good, so I think tomorrow, even with the rain, I could be in the top three. In any case, I know we'll be strong. When I got on the Aprilia in wet conditions for the first time, I was quick right away and this makes me positive ".

In 2023 Fernandez and Oliveira will arrive. Above all Raul struggled in his debut year in MotoGP, do you think it will be easier for him with Aprilia?

"In today’s MotoGP you need everything to go fast. Having the right environment is essential, feeling a team that works for you is essential. I believe that in Aprilia both Raul and Miguel will find this environment."

Today the confirmation arrived that Marquez will be here for the tests.

"I am happy that Marc is back on the bike, that he is coming here to do the tests. As a sportsman, I am happy that a colleague of mine who has suffered, who has been hurt, can return. He has shown a lot of courage in overcoming many difficulties and I really hope to finally be able to have some duels with him ".

 

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