Vinales “very sad” MotoGP season ending after “very late” start

Maverick Vinales says he is “very sad” the 2021 MotoGP season is ending this weekend as his campaign “started very late”, referencing his switch from Yamaha to Aprilia.

Vinales “very sad” MotoGP season ending after “very late” start

The Spaniard made a winning start to 2021 in the Qatar GP on the factory Yamaha, but struggled from that point on, with the relationship between both parties breaking down irreparably over the ensuing months.

Vinales was dropped by Yamaha mid-season following a suspension from the Austrian Grand Prix after he was found to have deliberately tried to damage his M1’s engine in the Styrian GP – something he said was a result of frustration boiling over.

The nine-time MotoGP race winner ended up at Aprilia from the San Marino GP onwards, making steady progress in adapting to the RS-GP and scoring a best of eighth in the Emilia Romagna GP.

When asked by Autosport ahead of this weekend’s Valencia GP how he would sum up his chaotic 2021 season, he said: “I have to say that I’m sad that the season is finishing, honestly.

“I’m very sad, I wanted to continue racing. Yeah, my season started very late, honestly, and I think it’s a season to learn.

“We have to learn everything. So, I learned quite a lot, I take the things in a different way and that’s important.

“So, we have to keep working. We have a very nice challenge, so I hope December passes very fast and we are in February [soon] so we can get on the bike.”

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

After his first test on the Aprilia at Misano in late August, Vinales said it was the happiest he’d ever been in his grand prix career.

When asked by Autosport if he was happier at the end of 2021 than he was at the start back in March when he was a race winner, he added: “Yeah, I’m very happy honestly, in life and here in the paddock, which is always good.

“Many things happened, but in the end I can race, I can be on a great factory and a great team and this is the most important thing for me right now.” 

shares
comments

Related video

2021 MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix – how to watch, session times & more
Previous article

2021 MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix – how to watch, session times & more

Next article

Rossi: Becoming an “icon” in MotoGP “the best thing of my career”

Rossi: Becoming an “icon” in MotoGP “the best thing of my career”
Load comments
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021