Although the result remained the same as Valencia and Sepang with Ducati fastest on day-one in Portimao, Vinales once again reminded us why he could be a force throughout the 2023 MotoGP season. 

Two tenths off top spot come the end of play, Vinales was particularly strong over race distance, while a strong showing in qualifying trim allowed him to finish third overall behind Francesco Bagnaia and Luca Marini

That came after suffering a big crash at turn 15, one in which Vinales knew he went beyond the limit.  

Vinales told "I had a big crash in turn 15, but it was nothing. I was really on the limit and I tried to go over the limit at that point. I didn’t finish the corner, let’s say it like this. 

"Overall the day has been really good and has been in a positive way. I have the same feeling as Sepang and it’s a very different track but we are still very fast and competitive."

Like teammate Aleix Espargaro, Vinales had a brand new aero package to test which had both positives and negatives, according to the former Yamaha rider. 

However, a final decision on what direction he will go in will only be made following a technical meeting with the team.

Asked if he could explain the exact differences the new aero had compared to the previous package, Vinales added: "What I can tell you is that there are positive and negative points. We put all the aero package [on the bike]. 

"We tried different items, different configurations, but at the end we need to try it a little bit more. 

"It was important to more-or-less understand the parts we need for the race because we need to homologate the parts. I want to see in the technical meeting what was better." 

Vinales aiming to put MotoGP rivals ‘on the limit’

Over a short stretch in 2022 Vinales was one of the quickest riders on the grid and came close to securing a first win with Aprilia.

That ultimately did not materialise, however, the Spaniard looks much better positioned to make that a reality in 2023.

Race pace in both the traditional GP setting and the new Sprint format looks to be particularly strong with just two weeks to go before race one, although Vinales feels he can train even harder in order to put his rivals under more pressure.

"I feel very strong, especially for the race," said Vinales. "For the Sprint race, the good thing is you can make all the laps on a time attack mode. 

"If you are strong then you are really good. Today I did one Sprint race [simulation] and I could really control the lap times and the bike is working well overall. I will train harder to put everyone on the limit."