Aprilia, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, had a remarkable 2022 season when they finally became grand prix winners. The team made an impressive start to the new campaign in Portugal this year, with Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro finishing fifth and sixth in the inaugural sprint race. In the 25-lap grand prix, Vinales gave a tough fight to the reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia and finished just 0.687s behind him.
Vinales was satisfied with his performance and expressed confidence in his ability to overtake Bagnaia at some points in the race. However, he was comfortable behind Pecco and was riding well, opening a gap. Vinales was initially trying to understand the potential of the race, and it was great. On lap 10 or 11, Bagnaia took another step in the rhythm, and Vinales tried to follow him. He made a few mistakes on the brakes and decided to cool down the tires and brakes before making a final push.
Although Ducati and Bagnaia dominated both races in Portugal, Aleix Espargaro, who finished ninth in the grand prix, believes that Aprilia is much closer to Ducati than people think. He congratulated the engineers on the good engine, and he feels confident that Aprilia and the riders can fight and make the championship more interesting.
Vinales was equally impressed with the RS-GP’s engine and its ability to keep up with Bagnaia. He remarked that their engine is strong and fast and works well in corners where the bike can exit with grip. Vinales felt competitive throughout the race and was proud of Aprilia, his crew, and the brand. He emphasized that the most important thing is to fight at the front, and they did it, so they should be pleased.
In conclusion, Aprilia’s impressive start to the 2023 MotoGP season indicates that they are determined to continue their breakthrough success from last year. With Vinales and Espargaro riding well and the strong performance of their engine, Aprilia could be a force to reckon with in the championship. While Ducati and Bagnaia may have dominated the first races, Aprilia’s close competition and promising potential mean that the rest of the season could be thrilling and unpredictable.