Vinales won’t consider MotoGP title race in last-lap Aragon battle with Espargaro

Maverick Vinales says he will “try to win” the Aragon Grand Prix even if he has to pass Aprilia team-mate and 2022 MotoGP title protagonist Aleix Espargaro to do so.

Vinales won’t consider MotoGP title race in last-lap Aragon battle with Espargaro

A year after making his debut with Aprilia following the collapse of his relationship with Yamaha, Vinales has been in strong form in recent races having scored podiums in three of the last four grands prix.

Now more consistently fighting at the front, Vinales has said in recent months that he would be happy to aid team-mate Espargaro in his quest to win the 2022 title.

But, having ended Friday at Aragon seventh overall and convinced he can fight for victory come Sunday, Vinales admits he won’t settle for second if he sees a chance to win – even if that means overtaking Espargaro to do so.

“It is early, but I think we will fight for the victory for sure,” Vinales said.

“If we work well, we will fight for the victory because the bike is working good, I’m motivated. I feel I’m riding well on the track. It’s a track where I want to really push hard.

“So, we can accomplish an amazing result this year compared to last year.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked if he was sitting second in an Aprilia 1-2 if he’d overtake Espargaro, Vinales added: “I try to win.

“I have a special feeling with this track, so if I have the chance to win I will take it for sure. I won in Moto2, I made good results always.

“It’s a track where I’m normally very fast, so it’s ok. Everything is coming.”

Espargaro, who is third in the standings and 33 points off championship leader Fabio Quartararo, was only 13th on Friday at Aragon having suffered crashes in both practice sessions.

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Admitting both were his own errors, Espargaro is convinced he is the faster of the two Aprilias at a track where he is expected to be a podium contender at.

“Has been a positive day, but I made two mistakes,” Espargaro explained.

“The first one was a little bit bigger because I was out of the line, on the dust I crashed. And the second one I crashed going slow.

“Unfortunately, both were when I was on new tyres and then you have no more tyres. So, you destroy the session basically.

“But in the morning and the afternoon I was strong on the race tyre. So, I’m ok.

“I’m faster here. So, I crashed and I couldn’t improve the lap times.

“But for me here in Aragon, it’s not a problem of speed.

“I’m fast enough, I lead the first session, I was leading with the medium tyre before the crash. So, it’s not about the speed. I need to understand a little bit more where the limit is.”

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