Maverick Vinales acknowledges that the Aprilia MotoGP bike “just does not” feel like his and that he “needs a lot more” to get there.
The nine-time MotoGP race winner switched to Aprilia from Yamaha ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix, after losing his ride with the latter due to an irreparable deterioration of relations that resulted in him purposefully damaging his M1’s engine in the Styrian GP.
Vinales continued his training on the Aprilia at the post-season Jerez test, making a step forward on braking – one of the major disparities he’s seen so far between the Yamaha and the Aprilia.
“Well, actually we don’t try anything specific,” he said of the test programme.
“We just try to improve the feeling, especially on braking.
“It’s been an area that I’ve struggled on a lot, especially in races.
“But here we make a big improvement, with the bike and the electronics.
He added: “At the end the objective is done for the test, so we are quite please about how the bike was working, especially on the brakes.
“Especially I was used to a bike with a different way of braking, so I just need to re-adapt.
“The guys gave me a hand, especially on engine braking to make the bike smoother on entry and to brake more comfortably.
“So, that’s what we worked on here: more stability, more comfort and I can brake much later. So, fantastic.
Despite the improvements, he admits that the Aprilia RS-GP still doesn’t feel like his motorcycle.
“No, no, not yet,” he explained. “We need much more things, we need more laps, more tests. Not yet.”
When asked what area of the Aprilia is the weakest looking ahead to the 2022 pre-season tests in February, he added: “For us it’s the turning, it’s the area where we need to improve.
“But somehow we understand how we can create that turning, so we need to wait until Sepang to keep trying.
“But it’s nice that we have a clear direction. So, I’m very happy about and very pleased about the test.”
Several masks inspired by MOTOGP racing riders are currently available at the following websites for a reasonable price: