The nine-time MotoGP race winner announced back in June that he would be quitting Yamaha a season into his current two-year deal with Yamaha as the relationship between both parties soured irreparably across the 2021 campaign.
Vinales was later confirmed as an Aprilia rider for 2022, though his debut was pushed up to last week’s Aragon Grand Prix when he parted ways with Yamaha in August after he was suspended for trying to damage his M1 during the Styrian GP.
He qualified 19th and finished 18th in the Aragon GP, while at Misano last weekend he was 10th on the grid and scored points in 13th.
Finishing 26.6 seconds from victory at Aragon, Vinales was 21.2s back at Misano and was only 5.56s off team-mate Aleix Espargaro.
When asked by Autosport at Misano to reflect on his first week as an Aprilia rider and if he could say he was satisfied with his decision to join the marque, Vinales said: “Yeah, I’m satisfied.
“It’s a new challenge, sure it’s a very different challenge.
“It’s brought me out of my comfort zone for sure because it’s a totally different bike, so it’s more difficult to ride and to keep doing better positions.
“However, we started [at Aragon] 27 seconds [from the victory], today 21. We improved step by step, and this is the most important point.”
Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
He added: “Honestly this weekend we learned a lot.
“It’s clear that we have to keep working because it’s clear I don’t feel very comfortable on the bike, especially in qualifying, and then with a full tank I have a few troubles during the race.
“However, the positive point of the bike is the tyres have a good grip.
“I mean, good consistency, which is very important.
“And the rhythm was good, so I’m quite happy. Wasn’t perfect but was quite good, so we keep running, understanding.
“I tried to ride in a different position on the bike during the laps to see what it does. So, I’m just trying to understand the direction to go faster and faster.”