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“I said, no… this time no!” - Maverick Vinales rescues COTA win from jaws of defeat

Gold & Goose

Maverick Vinales has described how he was determined no to give up on securing a much desired victory in the Grand Prix of The Americas after his hopes appeared to have been dashed in a Turn 1 skirmish.

Fresh from taking a resounding victory on Saturday in the MotoGP Sprint Race at Circuit of The Americas - his second in succession - Vinales channelled his efforts into doing the same on Sunday, more than three years on from his last trip to the top of the official podium.

However, after a tardy start pushed him onto the back foot on the run uphill to Turn 1, Vinales was then forced out wide when he was given a thump by Pecco Bagnaia, who’d in turn been struck by Jorge Martin to his inside.


Leaving Vinales ninth at the end of the opening lap, the Aprilia Racing rider proceeded to get his head down and begin clawing his way back into contention. Though assisted by a time-absorbing battle going on at the head of the field, it was Vinales’ superior pace that allowed him to scythe through the field and into the lead once more by Lap 13 of 20.

It’s a victory that represents something of a redemption for Vinales, whose form since joining Aprilia mid-way through the 2021 MotoGP season has - much like it did at previous employers Yamaha - fluctuated. 

“I said on Saturday I am dreaming and that we must believe, have confidence,” he said. 

“The COTA circuit is fantastic, it gives a lot of drive to keep working that hard. It is not easy, it was a long night thinking about how I have to get back to winning races [but] finally, I did it. 

“I am super happy to never give up and keep focus and make everyone around me believe I have enough talent and dedication to be fighting for this."

On a weekend that has seen Vinales exert a level of dominance not seen from the nine-time MotoGP race winner since his Yamaha days, he says he is proud to give a strong response to his early set-back.

“[The Turn 1 clash] was a race incident and after that I said ‘no, come on!’. This time no. 


“So I kept my concentration and believing what I was able to do. The way I see I was recovering the gap to the front guys, I said ‘one at a time, one at a time’, and I did it. It was crazy, I enjoyed every single lap.”

His success also sees Vinales defeat Jack Miller and Alex Rins to the mantle of being the first person to win MotoGP races with three different manufacturers (Aprilia, Yamaha and Suzuki).

“To be honest, you are never looking at it, but when you see it makes you feel very special. Not many riders get to do that. To win with Aprilia is a dream, it’s not the same when you go to a team that is already winning. We arrived at Aprilia with Aleix Espargaro, then we have a good bike and we are making a good step.”

By securing a full quota of points from the Austin weekend, Vinales leapfrogs to third in the overall standings, 24 points behind leader Jorge Martin.

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