Vinales details Aprilia MotoGP upgrade he must be “very careful” with

Vinales comes into this weekend’s third round of the season in strong form, having scored a breakthrough first win on the Aprilia in the sprint race in Portugal three weeks ago.

He was on course for a podium in the grand prix in Portugal before a gearbox issue caused him to crash out on the final lap.

Vinales ended Friday’s running at the Circuit of the Americas second fastest and as the only rider able to threaten Jorge Martin’s record-smashing lap.

During Friday’s session his Aprilia was spotted with a switch on his handlebars that he revealed was a switch to alternate the right lever between engaging the front brake and using it for the clutch.

Asked about it, Vinales said: “It’s the brake. I use the same lever for brake and clutch, so it’s just a switch [on the handlebars].

“I have to switch [between them manually].

“One switch is brake, another switch is clutch.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Listen, I have to be very careful. Imagine if I got to the starting grid with the rear brake [switched on].

“I will stall the bike. So, I have to be very careful. But it’s ok, I put some rules in my head when I go out.”

Confident about Aprilia’s form coming into this weekend, Vinales believes he is in the best moments of his stint with the Italian manufacturer.

“Yes, of course,” he said when asked if he thought he was in his strongest moment as an Aprilia rider.

“Since last year in Qatar when we really identified what we are missing, we have been very strong, always in the front.

“So, I feel it’s a good moment, we need to carry on.

“But that’s how you build the confidence. I feel much stronger than in the previous race and can’t wait to go into the garage and see what the guys are seeing.

“It will be a big work tonight because the tyres are too good, to be honest. The medium and soft are really good, we don’t know what to choose for the race.”

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