The debut of Maverick Vinales riding Aprilia arrives at the happiest moment for the Noale house, able to obtain its first podium in the MotoGP era two weeks ago at Silverstone, thanks to the brilliant third position of Aleix Espargarò. The Spanish former Yamaha will therefore make his return to the World Championship after two absent Grand Prix races and after having tested the RS-GP for two days at Misano on August 31 and September 1. Vinales at Aragon does not have great memories in MotoGP, where he seems to be a season ticket holder in fourth place – obtained four times out of six appearances – but he can boast a success in 2014, at the time of Moto2. Aleix Espargarò has always arrived in the points area on the Spanish track, finishing on the podium – the first in his career in the top class – at the time of Yamaha in 2014. For Aprilia the best result at Motorland is Espargarò’s sixth place obtained in 2017 and 2018. Both centaurs from Noale were the protagonists of the traditional press conference on Thursday.
Maverick Vinales: “I am very motivated and excited and hungry for the return. With six races to go it is a way for me to prepare for next year. I have to learn a lot and do it quickly. Aleix’s podium? We want to push and give it our all. I feel very positive and I am very happy to get on the Aprilia in a race weekend. I feel fit.I tried to understand the bike and how it behaves, without making comparisons. This decision was a relief for me (leave Yamaha and accept Aprilia, ed), I was stuck and needed to move forward, unlock and improve myself. This was the right opportunity, I had a good feeling with the bike and I think it is really important to gain experience in these races to adapt to the best. Aleix was important, not to convince me, but because I have faith in him and he knows the bike. Having him by my side was important, we talked about where we can get together. Did my father say I was going to race in Superbike this year? No, I never took this into consideration because I had other goals, which is to be in Aragon on a MotoGP bike.
Finish the season with Yamaha? Things happened very quickly, but now I’m here with the Aprilia, determined to improve myself. During the two days of testing I had fun and I couldn’t wait to be on the track at Aragon. “
Aleix Espargarò: “I am certainly more confident thanks to the Silverstone result. The level shown throughout the season is more important than the podium. I am in a position to do even better and continue to fight for the podium on a circuit that I really like. I hope to do better than last year. Vinales? I am very happy that Maverick is part of our team and comes at a good time for the team. After Austria, I’m happy to see him back on track, we also saw him in the tests. I think the future is bright for us, it will not be easy to improve but it is a great challenge that I am sure we will be able to take on. Losing concessions? I don’t like them, it was certainly important to have them to stay close to others, but it’s right to respect the same rules as the strongest and face them. “
FP | Stefano Ollanu
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