Vinales impresses on Misano test debut with Aprilia - The Race

Vinales impresses on Misano test debut with Aprilia

Aug 31 2021
By Simon Patterson

Maverick Vinales has impressed on his Aprilia testing debut at Misano, managing a lap less than a second from the time set by new team-mate Aleix Espargaro during qualifying for last season’s San Marino Grand Prix according to The Race’s sources.

Vinales has landed at Aprilia after his Yamaha tenure came to an end earlier this month when a suspension for “irregular” bike operation at the Austrian Grand Prix was made permanent.

On Tuesday he completed around 60 laps on the first of a two-day test at Misano with Aprilia, his first time on the team’s bike on track.

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It is believed that Vinales’ fastest lap of the day was a 1m33s time around the 4.2km track – just over seven tenths slower than Espargaro’s 1m32.295s qualifying time from 2020.

Lap time comparison

Vinales testing lap time on Tuesday: 1m33s

Espargaro’s lap times in 2021 San Marino GP
FP1: 1m32.949s
Qualifying: 1m32.295s
Race: 1m33.213s

It’s also within a similar margin to the times set by the leaders during free practice one at that event, and only a second and a half off Vinales’ own lap record set in the second of two weekends at Misano last season, a 1m31.077s set while he was riding for Yamaha.

It’s difficult to read into Tuesday’s testing time due to the likely different track conditions and improvement on the bike since last year’s Misano event, but given Vinales small amount of track time its a sign his transition from the inline-four-powered Yamaha to Aprilia’s V4 bike has started well.e

Vinales shared the Misano track alongside KTM testers Mika Kallio and Dani Pedrosa, Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, and fellow MotoGP riders Johann Zarco and Pecco Bagnaia, both on Ducati road bikes.

They were halted in the afternoon by rain, with Vinales hoping to continue his transition in better conditions on Wednesday.

Aprilia is yet to confirm Vinales will race its bike in MotoGP this year, but with the strength of the opening day of testing that decision could now be imminent.

Rumours suggest that he will ride the bike for the first time on a race weekend at Misano later this month.

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