The nine-time MotoGP race winner switch to Aprilia from Yamaha ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix, after losing his ride with the latter following an irreparable souring of relations which led to him deliberately trying to damage his M1’s engine in the Styrian GP.
Having used the final races of 2021 as extended test sessions on the Aprilia, Vinales continued that work at the post-season Jerez test and made a step on braking – one of the biggest differences he’s found so far between the Yamaha and the Aprilia.
“Well, actually we don’t try anything specific,” he said of the test programme.
“We just try to improve the feeling, especially on braking.
“It’s been an area that I’ve struggled on a lot, especially in races.
“But here we make a big improvement, with the bike and the electronics.
He added: “At the end the objective is done for the test, so we are quite please about how the bike was working, especially on the brakes.
“Especially I was used to a bike with a different way of braking, so I just need to re-adapt.
“The guys gave me a hand, especially on engine braking to make the bike smoother on entry and to brake more comfortably.
“So, that’s what we worked on here: more stability, more comfort and I can brake much later. So, fantastic.
However, he admits despite making an improvement, the Aprilia RS-GP is still far from feeling like his motorcycle.
“No, no, not yet,” he explained. “We need much more things, we need more laps, more tests. Not yet.”
When asked what area of the Aprilia is the weakest looking ahead to the 2022 pre-season tests in February, he added: “For us it’s the turning, it’s the area where we need to improve.
“But somehow we understand how we can create that turning, so we need to wait until Sepang to keep trying.
“But it’s nice that we have a clear direction. So, I’m very happy about and very pleased about the test.”