june 06, 2017 - Aprilia Racing

MotoGP - Only a penalty for a jump start put the brakes on Aleix Espargaró's ambitions at Mugello


Mugello (Italy), 4 June 2017 - When all was said and done, with the race severely compromised, Aleix Espargaró and his #Aprilia scratched the itch of wanting to be the fastest on the track – even faster than the riders battling for the win. But the time of 1'47.885, achieved nine laps from the end, fifth best absolute lap of the race, remains solely as consolation, albeit not insignificant, in a race that was over for Aleix when the red light went off. In fact, at the start his #RSGP made a clear move early that did not have any impact on his performance, but it was enough to expose Aleix to the risk of a penalty which then arrived, forcing the Spaniard to do a ride through and consequently relegating him far from the group and extremely far from the battle for a top ten spot where he had been before.

Back on the track - and before stopping due to running long onto the gravel - Aleix demonstrated that excellent race pace that had fed the hopes of the entire #ApriliaRacing Team Gresini throughout the weekend that he might bring home those results that are clearly within his potential. It is not enough to save the weekend, but it is a good start for the next #MotoGP race which will be on the Spanish Montmelò circuit next Sunday.
#SamLowes finished nineteenth. After a good start where he got close to the centre group, Sam had to reckon with a faltering feeling with the front that slowed him.

Aleix Espargaró
"It is a real pity. For the first time in my career I made a jump start and that is not what we needed. First and foremost I would like to apologize to the team. This is a particularly important race for Aprilia and the RSGP was working very well. The sensations were the best of the entire season. My pace in the low 48s after the ride through (therefore without particular motivation and without the advantage of any slipstream) shows that we could have battled for important positions. After running off track in the gravel, something wasn't working right with gear selection, so I made a pit stop. Once again, we showed that we are fast, but we are going home without any points. Now we need to consistently get back into the positions that we deserve."

Sam Lowes
I expected to be able to do a better race today, because in the first 6 laps I felt very much at ease. I was able to overtake several riders, lapping at good times straight away, even dropping below 1’49”. At a certain point I began to lose the good feeling with the front end and so I struggled to maintain a good pace. It was a situation that conditioned me for the rest of the race. It's a pity because throughout the weekend I had never noticed this type of problem. In any case, I want to look at the various positive sides that came out this weekend. I am happy to have finished the race and to have achieved a lap time that was actually only one second off the best. I am learning a lot in every race and we are moving in the right direction.

Romano Albesiano
We are not bringing home anything, despite being clearly fast, even fifth in the race lap time rankings. The problem at the start compromised the race for Aleix who then confirmed just how competitive he and his RSGP are. Now we are headed to Barcelona which is a good track for us, as they all are, since we have a bike that is proving to be truly strong on all the circuits and a fast rider like Aleix. If there are no problems, we can realistically aim for very high positions, but now the time has come to demonstrate our value, which by now is quite clear and acknowledged, with concrete race results.

Fausto Gresini
It should have been a good race. We had everything we needed to make it happen, but instead it was compromised right at the start. And yet, even in these circumstances, we clearly demonstrated how high our potential is, lapping very fast. It's a shame that it had to happen here at Mugello, but fortunately we don't have much time to complain, because already on Sunday we will be racing in Barcelona, a circuit where we just did some positive tests, so we will have our chance for redemption straight away.”