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MotoGP, Viñales: "Winning with Aprilia is special, a difficult dream to achieve"

"Only tomorrow will I realize what I've done. But it's wonderful to give a gift like this to my family. The title? We could do it if we make the most of our bike."

MotoGP: Viñales:

Maverick Viñales kept his promise. He was able to win with Aprilia. It took him almost three years, but all the stars aligned for him in Austin. After yesterday's Sprint win, he did his best work today, moving back up after an unlucky start, from 10th to 1st place. He was simply unstoppable. "This is a moment you dream about, but it's hard to achieve. I'm living a dream," he smiled, as if he still couldn't believe what he had done. But it's all true.

"It's an incredible feeling. This level of happiness is wonderful," Maverick continued. "It was a difficult way to win. But, since the end of last year, I had found the balance, the speed to be able to do it, although not like I did today, because you don't have many races like this in your career. I had some problems with the clutch this morning, and the same thing happened to me at the start. I was third in the first corner but then, because of a contact, I ended up tenth. I knew I had the pace to recuperate, but not that much. I want to celebrate with the guys in the garage, and then with my family, but I already know that I'll start training again tomorrow, because you can never relax."

When did you take that decisive step to be able to win with Aprilia?
"This confidence came at the end of last year. I needed time to understand the bike along with my crew chief. But, by the Qatar race in 2023, I had started to fight for the top positions. Then it wasn't easy to switch to the new bike. But, in  Portimão, we understood what we needed, and now I feel good. I can ride it in my own style, and I'm calm and confident."

They said your weakness was the scuffle ...
"In the past, I didn't have the weapons I have now to overtake. But, with this bike, I can brake late, and that's great. You can't always be in the lead from the first lap. Sometimes you have to fight. And I can do that now. It's a pleasure to have a race like this. I don't remember all the overtaking I did, but the one on Miller was the hardest, because Jack brakes really late."

You're the first rider to win in the MotoGP with three different bikes. You had already done it with Suzuki and Yamaha. Is it different with Aprilia?
"It has a different meaning because, when I signed with them, the bike was not in the top fifteen, but in the top ten, and it's wonderful how we've grown. I see so much potential for this year. We'll have to be smart and stay focused. We have to continue like this. Even the problem in Portimão was an experience for us. It was definitely more difficult to win with Aprilia, because we started from behind."

You're the only rider in the MotoGP to have won with 3 different bikes.
"I know it's something historic, but I don't give too much importance to these things. This win means so much to me, and maybe I'll only fully understand it tomorrow. It's definitely the best of my career, along with my first in the 125 and the MotoGP. The whole weekend was important, and to be able to give this gift to my family is fantastic. It's a crazy emotion. The problem is that you win today, and tomorrow you already want to get back on the bike," he said laughing.

What is the strength of the RS-GP?
"Stability is one of the key points of our bike, but we need to improve in tight corners. Today, I was making a differencein the smoother areas."

How much of Manuel Cazeaux, your crew chief, is there in this victory?
"He's key figure for me, like all the people in my team. We all deserve this victory, but I have a special relationship with Manu. We look at each other's faces and understand each other. I've never had such a relationship with anyone ... except with my wife," he laughed.

You're third in the World Championship. Do you believe in the title?
"Too bad about Portimão, otherwise, I would be further ahead in the standings. But we have to think about ourselves. We can do it if we take one-hundred percent advantage of our bike. That's what I always tell the whole team. Give me it all, and I'll give it my all."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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