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MotoGP, Maverick Vinales: "Manu Cazeaux is making the difference, great understanding"

"There is great understanding in the team also thanks to the new crew chief. An excellent result in Portimao, but we are keeping our feet on the ground, we will build this championship race after race. The race direction doesn't make easy decisions, we riders have to trust it. The important thing is that there is consistency"

MotoGP: Maverick Vinales:

Maverick Vinales, since his sudden abandonment of Yamaha to his debut in Aprilia, has come a long way on the Noale bikes. For the Spaniard, the 2023 season started in the best possible way, with an excellent performance in the first historic sprint race, and a second place on the podium at the Algarve circuit. Expectations are therefore high for the Aprilia rider, and the assault on the Ducati dominance is becoming increasingly possible, also thanks to the high number of absent riders in Argentina.

"I'm curious to see how the Aprilia will go on this circuit - Maverick tells us - last year the situation was very different. I think that this year we arrived much more prepared in Portimao, while here we'll start from scratch, and the track conditions are a big unknown. But the goal is always the same, to work hard to be in the front rows and fight for the win. On the one hand, I'm happy because I feel I have the right speed and pace to be able to win. but on the other hand this also puts expectations on me. I think the weekend will be fun because the climate here is very uncertain".

This new format doesn't help nervous errors at all.

"Exactly, there's no time to stop and think, you need to get good results immediately in free practice to be able to compete over the weekend. The only way to win the title will be to be smart and above

What impact does the sprint race have and will have on this sport?

"We'll have clearer ideas after a few races, but they make it even clearer which bikes are in better condition than others."

This new Aprilia feels like a second skin to you compared to last year's. How has it improved?

"I think the biggest difference is being made by the team, also thanks to the new crew chief, Manu Cazeaux (ex Suzuki, ed.). The bike is always prepared the way I like it, so that I only have to focus on giving my best. The bike itself has improved and now suits my riding style more. It is now much more stable on corner entry, and I can brake later and harder, which is an advantage both when overtaking and defending. I found the right harmony with the bike, which was struggling to arrive last year".

Last year this circuit was special for Aprilia, expectations will be high.

"We know what we're capable of doing, and we also know what we still need to improve on. Obviously the expectations are there, but we're also realistic and keep our feet on the ground. Our main priority will be to get the most out of the bike right from the first phases of the weekend, to be able to get good results then also in the race. The last race was very positive for me as a rider, this fills me with motivation, I know I can be fast, but you have to be patient, we are still at the beginning of this very long championship. We have to keep working to improve step by step, in order to be at our best, race after race."

At the moment, Aprilia seems to be in an excellent position to make an assault on Ducati's dominance.

"The bike is performing well, the only thing we can do is push even harder than before".

How much has the new crew chief influenced your growth and your results?

"There is a lot of understanding between us, we had already worked together during my two rookie years and we understand each other at once. When you work and everything seems easier for you as a rider, it means that he is doing a great job. In this way I can only concentrate on riding."

With regard to safety however, also given the introduction of the sprint race in the new format, what are your opinions? Do you think the race direction has improved compared to the past?

"It's not easy for us riders to always give the right information. I imagine it's not easy for them to have to make certain decisions in some situations, but we as riders can only defer to their judgement. The only thing that matters is that there are clear rules and that they are applied consistently and uniformly, but I understand that it is complicated having to deal with riders and situations that never come back in the same way, after all this is motorcycle racing".



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