Vinales smashes Valencia lap record but warns: “I can do better…”

Maverick Vinales smashed a lap record in Valencia which has stood for seven years.
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November

Jorge Lorenzo’s effort from 2016 was beaten in Friday practice at the Valencia MotoGP by Vinales.

But the Aprilia rider insists he could yet improve upon the 1m29.142s which topped the timesheets on Friday.

He reacted to beating the lap record: “Sounds good, sounds very good!

“The lap was fantastic, I enjoyed it a lot. Still, I think I can do better.

“We always know that, on Fridays, we have a better balance on the bike.

“However, we identified it really well. We can improve tomorrow.

“I feel good, calm, flowing with the bike which I really like.

“Tomorrow we can do a good job. We need to focus.

“Every time I have free space in front, I ride much better.

“I’m used to being in front so, when I’m behind, sometimes I don’t know how! It’s strange, but it’s like this.

“When I feel good, it’s when I am riding in my zone which is in the first places.”

Vinales knows that Saturday qualifying could be the key to stringing together an emphatic weekend to conclude the 2023 season.

“I can be fast,” he warned. 

“However, there are other riders. Diggia was fast on used tyres.

“I just want to take the first and second corner first, then take my rhythm and see how fast I am.”

Vinales entered the weekend in Valencia eighth in the MotoGP standings.

He has finished second on three occasions but still awaits his first win since swapping Yamaha for Aprilia.

Vinales pinpoints key area of Aprilia improvement

Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November

Vinales insists that Tuesday’s postseason test will be used to fine-tune some aspects of Aprilia’s bike, rather than for wholesale changes to it.

“Of course, there are still some areas,” he said.

“We are very focused on the test. We have items to improve the feeling.

“For me, one of them is the clutch. This is very important. It is the No1 priority.

“Sava is trying something different.

“After that, it is small details.

“Next year I will be better with the bike. Because I will know the bike more.

“We don’t need to touch too much. Some horsepower, a little more aerodynamics…

“That’s all. We are very close, a few tenths off, so we need to keep believing and keep working.

“Since I joined Aprilia the improvement is going up and up.”

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