MotoGP: Maverick Vinales to make Aprilia debut at two-day Misano test
Former Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales will make his Aprilia debut at a two-day test held at Misano next week.
Vinales will race for Aprilia next season but will now have his first outing on the RS-GP much earlier than imagined following his dismissal from the Monster Energy Yamaha team. The Spaniard was suspended after the Grand Prix of Styria, accused of purposely trying to damage his engine by hitting the rev limiter multiple times.
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Consequently, Vinales and Yamaha parted ways following the conclusion of the Austrian Grand Prix. Both parties had already agreed to terminate their two-year contract agreement a year early at the end of 2021. With no more Yamaha commitments, Vinales is free to start his new venture with Aprilia.
"From a technical point of view, it is always fascinating to listen to the impressions of a rider who is testing your bike for the first time," Aprilia Racing Technical Manager, Romano Albesiano said. "Especially with a champion like Maverick, who we are pleased to welcome into the Aprilia Racing family. After the great work carried out on the track by the racing department over the last two years, we are adding yet another piece to the path of growth that we are undertaking with encouraging results.
"Clearly the first approach involves a very practical adaptation phase, in terms of ergonomics and setup, which we know vary for each rider. But I'm sure that Maverick's talent and speed will come to the fore right away and I can't wait to start working together."
Vinales departs Yamaha after five seasons, during which he collected eight victories, 24 podiums and 13 podiums. The 2013 Moto3 world champion finished third overall in 2017 and 2019.
Vinales will line-up alongside Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia in 2022, who he has previously worked with at Suzuki. Espargaro has taken the much-improved RS-GP to two top six results so far this season, and has finished seventh on three occasions. He currently sits ninth in the standings on 67 points.
Vinales joins Andrea Dovizioso in testing the RS-GP this year and getting an early start will come as a huge bonus ahead of his 2022 campaign.
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