“Expect a powerful weekend from Aprilia,” predicts Maverick Vinales, noting the downforce.

Spread the love

Maverick Vinales aims to “demonstrate our potential” in Portimao after the setback in Doha with the 2024 RS-GP.

While still adjusting to the 2024 Aprilia, Maverick Vinales believes the added downforce it provides could lead to a “strong” weekend on the challenging Portimao circuit.

Aleix Espargaro immediately felt comfortable on the new aerodynamically advanced bike, contrasting with Vinales and Trackhouse rider Miguel Oliveira, who are still acclimatizing to what Vinales describes as “a significant change.”

“Doha didn’t showcase our true potential, so we need to stay focused and keep working,” stated Vinales, who secured ninth (Sprint) and tenth (GP) positions at the Lusail races.

“Portimao has historically been favorable for both myself and the bike. Particularly with this year’s model, I believe we can excel. The enhanced downforce and new features on the bike suggest it could be a favorable track for us.”

Last season, Vinales kicked off at Portimao as the top-performing Aprilia rider, finishing fifth (Sprint) and second (GP).

Reflecting on last year’s progress with the ’23 RS-GP, Vinales concluded the season confident in finding a consistent balance, particularly for quick laps. However, with the 2024 model, it’s been a return to the drawing board.

“Towards the end of last season, we found a good balance. I felt comfortable pushing and the bike responded well. We even secured front row starts on tracks where we traditionally struggled, like Austria,” he explained.

“Essentially, it boils down to finding that balance for me with this bike. Sometimes, when I put on a fresh tyre, I struggle to turn and maintain proper racing lines. As a result, I can’t extract the maximum performance from the bike.”


He continued, “The initial impression when I switched to the new bike was quite different from what I had expected. The change was really substantial, to be honest, but likely in a positive direction.

“We still have work to do, we need more track time with this bike. With the 2023 model, we had a full year and ultimately found a solid setup.

“Essentially, this year’s bike offers much more front grip and slightly less rear grip. This creates a different sensation, especially during time attacks.

“However, it’s all about finding the right balance because the weight distribution is a bit altered. I’m not too concerned because I know we will regain our speed and be competitive.

“Leaving behind a ’23 bike that I felt comfortable with means we now have to start that process again. That’s the task at hand.”

“It’s all about the setup for me,” Vinales emphasized. “We need to adjust the setup and aim to regain that necessary rear grip.”

Stay tuned with We4GP for more news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *