Maverick Vinales: ‘Last year we didn’t achieve our goals, we have one mission…’

Maverick Vinales says Aprilia has ‘one mission’ heading into the Qatar MotoGP test, which is to understand the best aero configuration.

Maverick Vinales, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February
Maverick Vinales, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February

Maverick Vinales was not as comfortable aboard the 2024 Aprilia RS-GP bike as expected during the Sepang MotoGP test.

Aleix Espargaro looked fast and proved that with a time good enough to end the three-day test in fourth. 

However, Vinales was further down the order as he struggled to extract the maximum performance from his bike.

Both race pace and qualifying simulations were not as quick as expected, which is why Vinales wants to make sure Aprilia finds the right combination in Qatar.

“To look back at last year, we didn’t achieve the goals we wanted to because we started really badly,” Vinales told “That’s a simple thing we need to improve for me.

“It’s not in my hands so I need to push the team a little bit more and improve more to reach our competitors.

“Our bike is working well and we did the [Sepang test] really calmly, understanding what is going on the bike, what is not and in the next few days we have one mission, which is to understand the aero package that benefits us the most. That’s our target for the test.”

Vinales was at times one of Ducati’s biggest threats in 2023, and although he’s yet to win in two full seasons with Aprilia, 2024 is seen as a year where that should change.

More important than ever when it comes to fighting for wins in MotoGP is how you qualify, but after struggling in Sepang, Vinales is hoping the Qatar test can see him get closer to the front of the field.

Discussing the difference in time attack pace between himself and team-mate Espargaro at Sepang, Vinales said: “We just rode two different ways and we were concentrating on other stuff. In Sepang I was not on point with the bike but there is still time.

“We need to be ready, especially in the race and still we have time.

“We are trying to remain calm and not miss anything. We can build a good bike.”

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