Maverick Vinales books Aprilia test ahead of rumoured imminent MotoGP return

Ex-Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales won't be waiting until the end of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season to get his hands on the Aprilia RS-GP

Maverick Vinales - Yamaha Factory Racing

Aprilia has confirmed the Yamaha-exiled Maverick Vinales will get an earlier than anticipated debut on its bike by participating in the upcoming Misano two-day test next week.

Vinales hasn’t strayed far from the headlines in recent weeks, beginning with the announcement he would be exiting his Yamaha deal a year earlier than planned, before that was brought forward to an abrupt immediate termination last week in the wake of his misdemeanours on the M1 at the Styrian MotoGP.

With Aprilia going on to confirm long-held rumours that Vinales will join its team for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship, the severing of ties with Yamaha has enabled him to jump ship to the Noale outfit straight away.

For now Aprilia has only confirmed Vinales will ride the RS-GP at the Misano, which precedes the San Marinio MotoGP at the same venue. However, it is understood the team are keen to get the eight-time MotoGP race winner on the grid before the year is out ahead of a full assault in 2022.

"From a technical point of view, it is always fascinating to listen to the impressions of a rider who is testing your bike for the first time. Especially with a champion like Maverick, who we are pleased to welcome into the Aprilia Racing family," said Aprilia technical manager Romano Albesiano.

"After the great work carried out on the track by the racing department over the last two years, we are adding yet another piece to the path of growth that we are undertaking with encouraging results.

"Clearly the first approach involves a very practical adaptation phase, in terms of ergonomics and setup, which we know vary for each rider. But I'm sure that Maverick's talent and speed will come to the fore right away and I can't wait to start working together.”

The bike had been originally reserved for Andrea Dovizioso, who has conducted a series of private tests with Aprilia this season with the marque making no secret of its desire to sign the experienced Italian.

However, Dovizioso’s procrastination led to Aprilia to look Vinales’ way when it became clear he would be exiting Yamaha.

Nevertheless, Dovizioso is thought to be closing on a deal that will also see him back on the grid from Aragon with the Petronas SRT Yamaha squad, replacing Franco Morbidelli, who will be promoted to the Factory team in place of Vinales.

Reports suggest Dovizioso will also get a deal for 2022 MotoGP season as one of two new riders to replace Morbidelli and the retiring Valentino Rossi.