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Maverick Vinales Bolsters Negotiation Power Amid Stellar Season: Eyes Set on Future with Aprilia



Maverick Vinales feels more empowered in talks, gives update on rider market dynamics

"After a solid beginning to 2024, I feel more confident in my discussions with the team leaders," Maverick Vinales shares.

Amidst Ducati's commanding lead in the 2024 MotoGP season, Aprilia racer Maverick Vinales has remained a strong competitor, attributed to his remarkable performance early in the season.

In Portimao, a victory in the sprint race preceded a dominant performance at COTA, where Vinales secured the pole position and went on to win both the sprint race and the grand prix.

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Following his departure from Yamaha due to his dismissal at the Styrian MotoGP, Vinales is now considered to be performing at the peak of his career.

Nonetheless, the situation might have painted a completely different scenario if Vinales had decided to retire, a topic that was brought up to him during the previous weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

In a conversation with TNT Sports, Vinales expressed, "At the moment it occurred, it becomes difficult to discover the reason to keep going. I've secured numerous victories. I'm fortunate that, in regards to financial stability, I'm in a good position.

"The sole reason I keep returning to this racetrack is for the win. I've always been driven by the belief that with enough effort, I could fully harness my abilities, regardless of the motorcycle. Ultimately, we achieved it! I anticipated this success earlier as I had opportunities. However, I hadn't managed to accomplish it until this moment."

Ever since Vinales made the switch to Aprilia, there's been a noticeable improvement in his consistency, and the Spaniard seems to be in much better spirits.

Inquired about the transformations at Aprilia throughout his tenure with the Noale-centered team, Vinales mentioned, "The journey began in Qatar the previous year. It required a period with my technician and my data engineer from that time.

Valencia served as validation – I achieved pole position and set a lap record. However, in Malaysia? With a new motorcycle, I was off pace. It was hard to fathom.

"In Qatar, there was a chance for us to aim for the win, but I was struggling with the bike's performance. In Portimao, I pushed myself to ride despite feeling extremely unwell.

"Ever since, I've been leading the way. The knowledge gained over time has been invaluable. In my initial seasons with Suzuki, I was tasked with developing a completely fresh bike, all while lacking prior experience."

"This assists me. I understand the requirements of the bike. I'm aware that I can discern whether things are proceeding well or not, which benefits the factory."

Regarding his prospects for this season and his belief in contending for the championship, consistently placing in the top five is a significant goal for Vinales, one he feels could bring him nearer to that achievement.

Vinales expressed, "We've deciphered what makes the bike swift. However, there will be circuits where our rivals have the upper hand. Our goal remains to secure a spot in the top five every weekend."

"We have weekends where victory is within our reach. On other occasions, we aim for a top-five finish, not ninth. That's our mindset."

Similar to numerous competitors this year, Vinales' contract is set to expire after the 2024 season.

However, considering Aleix Espargaro's uncertain future, it would be wise for Aprilia to secure Vinales, especially given his current performance and youth.

Vinales appears determined to remain with the Italian brand, though he acknowledged the presence of attractive alternatives.

Vinales remarked, "I believe there are possibilities. There are attractive projects. Currently, my focus is on this year, with Aprilia.

"In each competition I participate in, whether it's in Austin or Portimao, my position in discussions with the leadership strengthens."

"I'm not concerned about what lies ahead. My focus is on seeking out results."

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