Maverick Vinales makes history with Aprilia win: ‘Not many riders can do these things…’

Maverick Vinales says becoming a winner with three different manufacturers is not something ‘many riders’ can do.

Maverick Vinales, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April

Maverick Vinales put his name in the record books as the first rider in the MotoGP era to win with three different manufacturers.

Vinales won from pole at COTA, however, that tells very little to the story of how his race went. 

Vinales was pushed wide and down to 11th at turn one before completing a stunning comeback that saw him overtake Pedro Acosta for the lead on lap 13.

“I feel like I am in Gotham city [laughs],” said Vinales after the race. “I said yesterday that I am dreaming and that we must believe, we must have confidence.

“Obviously, closing this weekend gives a lot of drive to keep working that hard. It’s not easy and it’s been a lot of long nights thinking and overthinking what I have to do to be back winning races.

“Finally, I did it. I’m super happy to have never given up. But also to make everyone around me believe that  I have enough talent and dedication to be fighting for this.”

Vinales admitted to having a small issue with the clutch at the start, something his engineers feared might happen.

“This morning I had an issue with the clutch and the team was quite worried,” added Vinales. “They didn’t really want to touch anything.

“I had it in the same way in the race but I was not bad and I was second or third but then I saw Pecco enter and push me wide, very wide because Jorge was also on the inside so that was a racing incident.

“After that I said ‘come on, no!’. This time no. I kept concentrated and kept believing that it was possible to do. 

“When I pushed I was recovering the gap so quickly to the guys I had in the front. I was saying ‘one at a time, one at a time, one rider at a time’. I did it. 

“It was crazy and I was enjoying every single lap. Some riders overtook me again but  I braked late enough to make them go wide.”

Despite the setbacks he faced, Vinales made history as he went on to describe the feeling of winning for Aprilia.

Vinales said: “To be honest you are never looking at that but when you see that it is very special. Not many riders can do things like that. To arrive to the top with Aprilia; I don’t know, I think it’s a dream. 

“It’s not the same like when you go to a team that is already winning and you know the bike is fantastic.

“We arrived at Aprilia with Aleix, helped grow the bike. Aleix achieved two victories and then we left a good bike and I’m taking this next step.

“It is so fantastic. I need to thank Aleix for the work he is doing and Aprilia.”

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