Following his stunning exit from Yamaha at the Austrian MotoGP, a much anticipated return to action is in store for Maverick Vinales this weekend. 

Vinales will make his Aprilia debut at MotorLand Aragon, the Spaniard’s third home round of the season. 

"Well, more than excited, I’m very hungry and also very motivated to start this story with Aprilia," said Vinales in the pre-event press conference. 

"Right now, these six races ahead are just a present to prepare for the next year much better. 

"So, the priority is to try to learn. For sure, it’s very different so I need to learn a lot. I need to learn quickly, this is the most important."

Vinales joins Aprilia at perhaps the best time after the Italian manufacturer clinched their first ever MotoGP podium in Silverstone.

Aleix Espargaro’s third place was a result that seemed inevitable at some stage this season given how well the Spaniard had been performing. 

So, when asked if Espargaro’s result gave Vinales more motivation to race as early as this, the former Yamaha man said: "For sure, it has set up a lot of fire inside of myself. 

"All we want is to push and I’ve been away for a while, but I think we are coming back on a good way, and after the test I feel very positive to be here and to get experience on a race weekend."

Espargaro has often voiced his desire to have a strong team-mate alongside him in order to push the Aprilia project forward, which is certainly a possibility with Vinales. 

Espargaro touched on Vinales joining the team, by saying: "Yeah, I’m very happy that Maverick joined the team. I think he arrived in the best moment of Aprilia’ racing story.

"I have been speaking with Maverick since a long time ago about Aprilia and joining us in the future, but obviously, after the Austria thing, I’m super happy that he can be racing again."