Maverick Vinales wasn’t too disheartened to conclude the opening day of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship at Portimao in second position, even if he felt he couldn’t have completed a better lap on the Aprilia RS-GP.
Considered one of the dark horses for 2023 in what will be his second full season on Aprilia machinery, Vinales left it late to make his presence known with a 1’37.746 that sprung him ahead of the Ducati Armada locking out the top positions.
However, his hopes of ending the day on top were scuppered by Jack Miller, who quickly broke Vinales’ record-breaking effort by 0.037s moments later.
Nevertheless, while Miller’s performance came at the end of a day spent largely outside the top ten, Vinales was taking confidence from having found more speed on an already positive day.
“A 1’37.7 I thought was a good lap. I thought I was first, then I saw Jack and I was like ‘come on,” he joked.
“It was a really good day on the bike, even in the morning, then in the afternoon with the time attack, we knew we had the speed.
“Tomorrow will be an interesting day, we have a lot to learn. The bike is working well, we are calm because we know we can be very strong. Tomorrow it is time to push and make the fight and we will see where we are. We have good potential.”