Aprilia Reveals Reason for Vinales Portuguese MotoGP Retirement

Aprilia has disclosed the reason for the retirement of Maverick Vinales from second place in the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix

Maverick Vinales, 2024 MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

The reason for Maverick Vinales’ retirement from last weekend’s MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix has been confirmed by Aprilia.

Vinales, who had been running in second place for much of the race at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, retired on the final lap.

The Spaniard comfortably led Enea Bastianini onto the pit straight, but fell backwards after cresting the hill that leads to the finish line. Vinales then ran wide into the first corner and fell in the run-off area, which ended his race.

After the race, Aprilia confirmed that the cause of the retirement of its #12 rider was due to a gearbox problem. Vinales, who had won the Sprint on Saturday, said that, from lap six, he was having problems shifting between fifth gear and sixth. The only place a MotoGP touches fifth or sixth gear in Portimao is on the pit straight, and finally, on the last lap, the RS-GP jumped out of gear when Vinales went for sixth. Vinales said that the crash in the run-off area was caused when the bike jumped back into gear (second, which he had selected while decelerating for turn one).

“From the sixth lap, I could tell that something wasn’t working right with the gearbox,” Vinales said post-race. “I was losing a lot of time on the straight.”

Vinales’ speed in spite of his issue allowed him optimism. “I still felt like I could have won, though. It’s a shame about the technical problem. In any case, I’m happy because I know that I gave one hundred percent. This weekend we took a huge step forward. We got our speed back and we demonstrated that the RS-GP24 can win. Now we’ll head to Austin, a track that I like and where I’ll arrive more motivated than ever.”

Vinales’ retirement promoted Tech3 GasGas rookie Pedro Acosta to his first premier class podium, while his factory Aprilia teammate, Aleix Espargaro, finished eighth, paying for a poor qualifying performance that left him starting 13th for both the Sprint and Grand Prix.

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