april 07, 2018 - Aprilia Racing

A great Aleix Espargaró is first in Q1 and rides the Aprilia RS-GP just short of the best, tomorrow he will start on the third row


Changing weather characterised the qualifying day on the Termas de Rio Hondo track. In these conditions, which are always difficult, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia RS-GP into the spotlight. With a great Q1 session (first place for him), he earned passage into Q2, the session that decides the first twelve spots on the grid. Having gone through the first session, Aleix only had one new rear tyre available for the decisive session, but he still took full advantage of it, earning a nice seventh place and the first spot on the third row of the grid. After trying some changes to the settings today which gave him a good feeling with his Aprilia, Espargaró is optimistic for the race tomorrow.

Scott Redding also demonstrated good confidence, especially on the wet track, in terms of race pace and performance. In first qualifying session, with the asphalt in mixed conditions, the British rider battled for a spot in Q2. Unfortunately, the rising temperature of his wet tyres kept him from shaving of the few tenths he needed to get into the top 12. Scott, who is still suffering with a backache, will start from the fifth row tomorrow.

"I am obviously pleased. After the work we did, with a lot of changes, the bike is working much better than yesterday, so in Q1 I felt good even in those track conditions. And I am convinced that if I had been able to use a new tyre for the finale, I would have easily been able to battle for the pole or for the front row. But since I did Q1, I didn't have another tyre and these rain tyres heat up easily when the track dries out. So I was forced to alternate a fast lap with a slow lap to cool them down. But that's fine; it's part of racing and the third row is a nice starting place for the race tomorrow. The Aprilia is a bike that conserves the rear tyre well and it has a lot of grip even in the race finale. I like the track and tomorrow in the race we will be able to bring home a good result."

"I feel good on the RS-GP in the various conditions that we found here in Argentina. Especially in the rain, but also in the dry, I am rather satisfied with our settings. I would have liked to have worked a bit more with the dry track to remove some doubt about tyre choice. In mixed conditions I usually struggle a lot with tyre temperature, whereas I must say that with this bike the problem was significantly less evident. Unfortunately, this morning the pain in my back was really bad. I preferred waiting until the afternoon to use the pain killers and suffer less in qualifying. The pain is moving downward. I don't know if that is good or bad, but I am working on being in the best possible condition tomorrow."