Vinales, who has been showing more and more potential aboard the 2022 RS-GP, secured his first podium for Aprilia at the Dutch MotoGP. 

As he did in Sachsenring, Vinales produced a brilliant first lap in order to propel himself into the lead group, despite starting 11th. 

And after holding off a late challenge from Jack Miller, Vinales also secured his best result in over a year - the Spaniard claimed second (was his last podium) during the 2021 MotoGP of Assen before leaving Yamaha mid-season. 

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But as Vinales grows stronger, the threat of him challenging Espargaro, who is the team’s big title hope, could very well turn into reality during the second part of the season.

However, Vinales has admitted he will help Espargaro in any way he can, even if it means giving up a good result.

Vinales said: “In the second part of the season, if I become stronger and become better but Aleix is close to the championship, then we need to think about Aprilia. 

“If I have the occasion where in one race I’m faster than Aleix but it’s important that he finishes in front of me for the championship [I will let him through] because I’m working for Aprilia. I will try to help Aleix and we are working well together. 

“Since Mugello we found a good way to work together and make us stronger. If Aleix has the chance for the championship and I need to let him pass then I will do it. 

“We have a dream which is to make Aprilia become world champion. It doesn’t matter the result and if I’m first of he’s first. We want to make this bike competitive, put this bike on the top and this is the way. 

“In Mugello we helped each other and worked on the gearbox and here I tried to help Aleix in a few corners where I was stronger than him. Also, I learn from him everyday because he knows the bike really well. Actually, for him the bike is like a glove on a hand.”

Vinales ‘the happiest man in the world’ after Assen MotoGP podium

The last 12 months have been quite the whirlwind for Vinales, headlined by his shock split from Yamaha last season.

But after signing for Aprilia, a team that he says is fully behind him and believes in him, Vinales is beginning to look like the Vinales that was so often a podium challenger.  

“A lot happened [in the last year], but right now I’m the happiest man in the world. I can’t ask for anything more,” added Vinales. 

“I have a very competitive bike, a very good group and a really nice factory in Aprilia that is behind me. 

“They are pushing me everyday and I have a beautiful family. I have everything I always dreamed about. 

"I’m ready to push, I'm ready to go on the top. I will make myself stronger but it’s not easy because MotoGP right now is very strong."