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5 days ago
By motogp.com

Viñales finding his feet with Aprilia after maiden top 10

The Spaniard recorded his best result with the Noale factory in Misano with a P8 finish, just a tenth behind Aleix Espargaro

2021 has been a trying time for Maverick Viñales, but the Aprilia Gresini rider is looking towards the future with excitement after a positive and confidence-boosting result at the Emilia Romagna GP. His well publicised and acrimonious split from Yamaha has made it a turbulent season for the Spaniard, but he is keen to ensure his latest venture will make for a smoother ride.

At Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the number 12 recorded his best finish to date on the RS-GP, making up 11 places during the race to take the chequered flag eighth. Hardly a career-best result by any means, this is a multiple premier class race winner after all, but it is a sign of the progress being made by Viñales and Aprilia just four Grand Prix into their fledgling relationship.

"I'm happy because before the race we made a substantial change to the bike’s balance. It was a gamble, but our goal is to try to get to know this bike better and better. It worked extremely well. I had a good pace from the first laps and the only thing that kept me from battling for an even better result was the fact that I had to make up positions from behind.”

Indeed, it was a strong showing from Viñales, and perhaps it is a sign of things to come in the future once he can find the one lap pace needed to secure a better position on the grid. Coming in just over a tenth off his battle-hardened teammate Aleix Espargaro, who has already shown the capabilities of the revamped RS-GP with a podium in Silverstone, things are definitely looking up for the Noale factory.

Having seen Espargaro make himself a regular top eight finisher, the hope for Aprilia is that Viñales can bring them to the next level, though he himself isn’t ready to skip any stages of the learning process in exchange for instant success.

"I'm very confident after what we have shown on Sunday. Step by step, the rider-team-bike package is coming together and that is fundamental.”

Exciting times certainly lie ahead for Aprilia, where they will be targeting further podium joy in the near future.

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