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Vinales ‘did something magic’ with Aprilia on COTA MotoGP Saturday

Maverick Vinales says he did “something magic” on his Aprilia on Saturday at the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix after taking pole and the sprint win.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Spaniard blitzed the existing lap record at the Circuit of the Americas to score his first pole of the year, which he then converted into a dominant sprint victory.

Vinales grabbed the holeshot off the line and beat the field by 2.294 seconds to claim back-to-back sprint victories in 2024.

While pleased with his sprint win, Vinales felt his qualifying was more enjoyable but ‘doesn’t know’ how he set his record 2m00.864s lap.

“Just enjoying this moment, that is amazing,” Vinales said.

“For me, more than the sprint I enjoyed more the qualifying…. I don’t know how I did this lap. I just make something magic with the bike today and that’s impressive.

“I’m very happy, obviously I’m convinced we can do an amazing job this year, not only here but during all the year. I feel better than ever.”

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

This is the first time Vinales has won back-to-back races in his MotoGP career since the earliest days of his tenure with Yamaha, when he scored victories in Qatar and Argentina in 2017.

Asked by Autosport if his current Aprilia form feels similar, Vinales said: “No, now I’m in a totally different level.

“I wish I was feeling like now some years ago because I have the experience and physically, I feel so strong. This is the year I feel stronger physically speaking, I work a lot for it.

“I just feel that experience, strength, and the technique I have on the bike is matching together to do these results.

“That’s fantastic. Every time it repeats, that phrase in my head, ‘never give up’ because hard work pays off and it’s paying off. I’m extremely happy. I’m doing a lot of effort and my family is doing a lot of effort.”

Vinales says he is able to ride the RS-GP “naturally” now, but in the pre-season didn’t feel confident on the 2024 Aprilia.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Acknowledging this, Vinales says a change in the weight distribution of the bike from the Portuguese GP has unlocked his form on the 2024 RS-GP.

“I said in the earliest laps in the test I was not feeling comfortable on the bike,” he explained.

“I had a very strange crash in Malaysia in the last corner. So, I had no confidence with the new bike, but we worked with the settings, worked with the balance and step by step I was feeling better.

“But in Qatar it was not enough, I was not riding it at the maximum.

“So basically we changed a little bit the weight distribution on the bike in Portimao and it changed like this - from here to here.

“Now I have the same feeling as last year but with a bike that is a little bit better because of the aerodynamics.”

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