Maverick Vinales continued 'closing the gap' during day two of his opening race weekend as an Aprilia MotoGP rider, at Aragon.

19th and 1.142s from the top after Friday practice, the former Yamaha rider rose to 17th place and +0.863s on Saturday morning.

The Spaniard then dropped back to 20th (+1.070s) during FP4, as he experimented with various compounds of front and rear tyres for the race.

Vinales' first Aprilia qualifying session was another learning experience as he found himself slipping back into the high corner-speed habits of the M1 during his time attack, leaving him in 19th place.

"The progression has been good," Vinales said. "As we always know Qualifying 1 is not easy because the grip is not perfect, you have to do an amazing lap and it's quite complicated.

"But I think in FP4 when I kept with used tyres I can be much more on the good level and overall I felt really good on used tyres.

"I'm quite happy. For sure I need to work on the way of doing the lines on the track because it's so different, but overall the feeling is very positive because we still have a lot of margin to improve and the lap times are not really far.

"We started the weekend +2 seconds (in FP1) and now I'm 0.8-0.9s. So we are closing the gap and I think tomorrow we are going to make another step.

"The most important thing is to keep concentrating on our side, don’t look too much the others, because I have to do a lot of work. Especially to understand how to make the lap time.

"When I did the time attack, I entered too fast into the corners and I need to do the lap time in a different way. I need to reset the mind, I need to make more laps to understand how to make a good qualifying.

"Sure this is not the easiest track to start [with Aprilia at] but it was good because you know the reality and the reality is that I need to work a lot on the riding style and to understand the bike."

Helping Vinales with his steep learning curve is data of team-mate Aleix Espargaro. The Silverstone podium finisher has again been fast throughout the Aragon weekend and qualified sixth on the grid.

"I compare [with Aleix] every practice, every lap and I ride very different," Vinales said. "I try to do the lap time more by going into the corner with speed and at this point the bike is made for another riding style. So I need to learn.

"You always have some positive points, and for sure good corner speed has positive points, but now I need to learn to do the lap time on the brakes and also on the gas, because basically the [V4] engine behaves very differently [to the Inline4 Yamaha]."

"What I like is the acceleration is really good. I mean the progression [delivery] of the engine," Vinales added. "It's just that I need to understand the torque, how it behaves going in and around the corner and then again in the pick-up area.

"A few corners I feel like I could open the gas before, a few corners I feel I open too early. So I need to get used to the bike to take the maximum performance on the acceleration.

"Also I need to work on braking, which I think is the area that changed much more than the rest."

Another big difference compared to his former machine is that Vinales can now use the hard front tyre compound.

"Today was the first time I tried the hard tyres in maybe two years and it was positive, so it means that everything is different," he said.

"In FP4 I felt really good on used tyres. This is positive because the race is going to be a very long and difficult and I feel good on the hard tyre. It gave me a lot of feedback on hard braking.

"This is something I was not used to riding with. I was used to always riding with the 'P' [medium front] even in hot conditions, with a little bit unstable feeling. Using the hard gives you good stability. This is something nice.

"More-or-less with the tyres I'm quite good. Today I tried the hard tyre and I like it a bit more than the medium, which for me is something new, and also on the rear I think we have a good potential for all the race."