Maverick Vinales

Maverick Vinales is ‘disappointed,’ adding that his feelings aren’t the same as in testing

After completing 21 seconds behind teammate Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales describes his P12 position at the Qatar MotoGP as “clearly a terrible result.”

Maverick Vinales

After Maverick Vinales stayed a long way behind his team-mate during the Qatar MotoGP, expecting Aleix Espargaro to lead the squad’s charge in 2022 if Aprilia has a race-winning package.

Vinales, who has actually won one race in each of the last six MotoGP seasons, the most of any active rider, is still getting used to Aprilia’s new RS-GP machine for 2022.

Vinales made a slow start to his time at Aprilia after leaving Yamaha after five and a half seasons with the Japanese manufacturer – before that he got to spend two years with Suzuki (also an inline-four engine). The transition from an inline-four to a V4, which is the first time he’s done so in the premier class, as well as the distinction in how the bike generates its peak performance, has seen Vinales make a slow start to his time there.

And, unfortunately for the Spaniard, Qatar was much the same after two pre-season tests in which the nine-time MotoGP championship winner looked extremely strong, as he is accustomed to do.

Speaking after his P12 finish, Vinales concluded: “This is obviously a disappointing result. This is certainly not in line with my expectations or the team’s, but I never had the right feeling with the front end and going into corners. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to get to know this bike better. We had some feelings in the tests that we evidently need to find again. 

“I didn’t make any mistakes in the race and I didn’t have any significant drop in tyre performance, but I didn’t manage to have a good pace either. 

“This is not what we want or what we know we are able to achieve.”

Vinales was expected to fight for substantial points after spending the last five rounds of 2021 with Aprilia, particularly given his record at Lusail, where he has two victories, tied for the most among present riders with Andrea Dovizioso.

That wasn’t the case, as he finished 21 seconds behind teammate Pol Espargaro, who took fourth place.

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Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Yamaha, MOTO, Moto racing, Motocross, MOTOGP, MXGP

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