ALEIX BATTLES WITH THE TOP TEN AND FINISHES SEVENTH FIVE SECONDS FROM THE PODIUM
ANDREA, SUFFERING WITH PAIN IN HIS SHOULDER, BATTLES AND FINISHES JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN
At Aragón Aprilia takes the best result of the season, with Aleix Espargaró finishing seventh, but close to the leaders, and Andrea Iannone, still suffering with pain in his shoulder after the Misano accident, finishing eleventh.
After the good sessions yesterday that had placed him on the second row, Aleix started off strong, holding onto his position and fending off an attack by Rossi, staying close to the group of top riders battling for podium positions. The battle with Crutchlow for sixth continued all the way to the last lap when Aleix recovered ground, finishing in the Brit’s slipstream but, more importantly, keeping the gap to five and a half seconds behind the second place finisher in a race where the winner – Marquez – was in a race by himself. This is a great result that placed Aleix among the protagonists in the Spanish race and it is an excellent way to head off for the overseas tour.
Throughout the race Andrea had to deal with pain in the left shoulder he injured in Misano. He gritted his teeth and, although having to dose out his strength, he remained consistently in the positions battling for the top ten. He missed it by less than half a second, but after a nice battle where he prevailed over Petrucci precisely on the final lap. The week-long break before flying out to Thailand will be essential for his full physical recovery.
Bradley Smith, in the race with the third RS-GP, finished nineteenth, completing the work he had planned with the Test Team.
"Today’s result was good. The team and I gave 100% and we deserve it. At the start, with the fuel tank full, I didn’t have the best feeling with the front end, but things got better and better after a few laps. I had fun. Battling in the leading group is always nice, although the characteristics of the track undoubtedly helped us."
"This weekend I had to grit my teeth and even in the race, the pain in my shoulder forced me to save my energy, especially when grip began to decrease. I am pleased with the team result, but we need to keep working hard, first and foremost, to reduce the gap in acceleration and top speed compared to Aleix. We can’t let this race fool us. This is a track that suits the Aprilia well and we still have a long way to go."
"It was a good day for Aprilia, the result of hard work by everyone. I am happy, first of all, about finishing the race, since in my last wild cards that had not been possible. We took a shot in the dark, starting with an entirely new setting. It was also a functional decision because of the tests we’ll be doing here in a few days, during which we want to give Aleix and Andrea a little extra help for the rest of the season."