As we highlighted before Sunday’s British MotoGP, Aprilia headed into the race with questions regarding Aleix Espargaro’s fitness, making it important that Vinales stepped up with a big result.
That’s exactly what happened as the Aprilia rider was in fantastic form throughout, which included being the fastest rider on circuit with a few laps to go.
After coming out on top in his lengthy battle with Jorge Martin for fourth place, Alex Rins and Jack Miller had no answer for Vinales’ late race pace, however, Francesco Bagnaia did despite momentarily losing the lead to Vinales.
While it wasn’t the win he craved, the performance shown by Vinales at Silverstone was his best yet in Aprilia colours.
Discussing the intense last few laps, Vinales said: “I tried [to take the lead] with two laps to go. I tried and I felt very strong in the last part of the race.
“Somehow Pecco [Bagnaia] put himself [in the right position] in front of me and he closed the door. Then I had no chance and I went wide in turn one because I lost the rear.
“Then I was looking back and hoping that Jack [Miller] didn’t overtake me because he’s a good braker. We must be happy because we showed a good potential and every time I’m feeling better on the bike. I just feel like we are going up. That’s the way.
“At Aprilia we are working in a fantastic way. That’s three races in a row that we are able to be on the podium and we need to fight for the races.”
Vinales always ‘believed’ in Aprilia’s MotoGP project
While the first few races at Aprilia proved difficult for Vinales, as did the Noale-based manufacturer’s first few seasons in MotoGP, both sides have now become serious contenders for race wins.
Asked if he ever thought a move to Aprilia was the wrong decision, Vinales said: “Never. I always believed in this project. I believe a lot and I believe a lot in myself.
“I always believe that it’s a matter of time, a matter of work. We know we have the potential to be at the front of races as we showed in the previous events. Our focus is on ourselves. We are still not at the maximum but we keep working and keep believing.”
Vinales suffers contact with Quartararo after choosing not to use start device
In what was a joint decision with the team, Vinales chose not to use his start device for the British MotoGP and although it didn’t affect his launch, it did put him under pressure from Quartararo who swooped around the outside.
In doing so the former teammates made contact heading into turn one which resulted in Vinales having to ‘close the gas’. Despite that, Vinales was convinced it had no negative impact on his race.
“We didn’t use the start device and that’s why I got a ‘normal’ start. When Fabio came across the line I needed to close the gas, but this is part of the race,” added the Spanish rider.
“If I start better then I would have been better. It didn’t make my race different. I was waiting for ten laps to go to push and it paid off. I just needed one more lap.
“I tried with two laps to go but Pecco was very smart. Today we are second but a few races ago we were tenth.”