Maverick Vinales: ‘I have a very unstable bike, it is riding me’

Maverick Vinales says he’s still searching for the feeling he had with the 2023 Aprilia MotoGP machine.

Maverick Vinales, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February
Maverick Vinales, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February

Aprilia have not set the world alight during the Sepang MotoGP test, and one of the reasons for that is due to Maverick Vinales not feeling the same way with the new RS-GP24 bike as he did last season.

Vinales has still been strong during the Sepang test, but Aprilia have so far not looked like a match for Ducati and the Spaniard feels more testing time is needed.

“I needed one more day or two,” said Vinales. “More days of testing is always great. I can say that we tried the new bike and we have a clear idea of what we need to do.

“In two weeks we have Qatar which will be a good test for us to understand. Usually Qatar is not the best track to test at because after the track resurface the grip is amazing, so it will emasculate the effects of the bikes.

“But it will be important to keep looking for the feeling from Valencia. Still I don’t have it. For me, that is still the most important.”

Some of Vinales’ problems with the new bike are down to balance on corner entry, which has resulted in him feeling like the new bike is controlling him, rather than the other way around.

“On the entry to the corner the balance is stil not great,” stated Vinales. “I have a very unstable bike and basically I cannot ride the bike. It is riding me.

“That’s not a good feeling. The good thing is that I know the feeling [I need] from Valencia and the first few laps here with the old bike. I need clearly what we need.

“We are also working a lot with the aerodynamics to see if this can affect this feeling.”

Aprilia’s new aero package for 2024 has been very extensive which has resulted in Vinales still needing to test some parts in Qatar.

But that will only come when he feels comofrotable with the 2024 bike.

Asked if he’s completed the aero test program, Vinales said: “Not yet because we still have a little bit more which is our job to do in Qatar.

“I want to try the aerodynamics when I feel the bike is in the right place. Otherwise I’m not pushing and I cannot push properly.”

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