After securing his first top ten as an Aprilia rider at Misano, Maverick Vinales hopes the same will be true for the second Portuguese MotoGP of the year this weekend.
Not only did the Spaniard land his best result for the Italian manufacturer, but Vinales also moved closer to teammate Aleix Espargaro two tenths from the checkered flag.
Even more impressive, Vinales started from 19th place on the grid, while Espargaro was still eight places higher.
“I arrive in Portimao with a very good feeling. The stage in Misano has more to do with the final position,” said Vinales.
“We actually worked a lot on the RS-GP, resulting in a definite improvement that we can show here as well. That’s our goal – to continue to know this new bike and the chemistry with my riding style.
“It helps us to better prepare for 2022 and, in the meantime, we will try to achieve positive results before the end of the season.”
Unlike Vinales who only competed in three races for the team, including two on the same track, Espargaro has the advantage of having driven the RS-GP21 in Portimao earlier this season.
And given the improvements the bike has made since then, not to mention Espargaro’s brilliant form for much of this season, the Spaniard will certainly be a top ten contender – finished sixth in April, while Vinales was 11th aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha. .
Speaking ahead of the weekend, Espargaro added: “We return to Portimao in very different conditions compared to the first race, both in terms of the weather and because we had the chance to really improve the news. RS-GP Aprilia.
“I love this track and we had a good first race here. I can’t wait to get back on the track to see our improvements. We have two races left to finish this championship season well.”