A positive result for Aleix Espargaró at Le Mans with his Aprilia RS-GP, finishing ninth after a spectacular battle. After a less than perfect start from the twelfth spot on the grid, Aleix recovered positions in the early phase of the race, establishing himself (thanks in part to a few DNFs in the front ranks) in seventh place. Only an irritating chattering kept him from fending off the attacks of Viñales and Crutchlow in the finale, in any case staying in the top 10, just behind his rivals.
A crash during the tenth lap ended the race early for Scott Redding, never incisive on the French track throughout the weekend and anxious for redemption in the upcoming round at Mugello.
"At the start I was bogged down on the first chicane, losing several positions, so in the early laps I had to push to the limit to make up lost ground. At that point, it was no longer possible to catch up with the leading group of riders and I found myself pushing on my own for the entire race. I maintained a good pace around a low 1’33”, despite a strong chattering on the front that I had not felt all weekend up to that point, otherwise I think that I could also have been faster for a few laps, maybe around a high 1’32”. After an unlucky season start, we'll take this ninth place as a starting point, even if it is certainly not the result we had been aiming for."
"It was a difficult weekend, but I am trying to look at the positive side. Unlike what happened in Jerez, where I didn't have grip in the early laps, here at the race start I felt quite at ease with the bike. Usually the situation improves lap by lap, so I had planned on staying in the group of riders I was battling with to then improve during the race. Unfortunately, I struggled to manage the front tyre and, in fact, my crash was caused by a loss of grip at the front. I am disappointed about how things ended, but I am happy with the way I was riding in the race, where I had the best sensations of the weekend."
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"The result Aleix achieved could have been better, but we are still satisfied. It was important to finish this race and we managed to do that, so over all we were protagonists in a high level weekend. Compared to Jerez, we continued growing and we count on being at the same levels as the end of last year soon, despite the fact that the championship this year is more competitive and difficult. Our growth is constant and better results will soon arrive as well. In spite of everything, Scott also showed signs of improvement. Now we are going straight to Barcelona for two days of tests where we will work hard with him as well so that he will be able to feel more at ease in the saddle."
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"Aleix rode a good race. We needed to do well and bring home important points. The result today is important to regain confidence and head to Mugello in the best possible form. That will be a demanding race that we will prepare for with two days of testing in Barcelona."