After qualifying and warm up at a good level of performance, Aleix Espargaró's Japanese race was hindered by a problem with acceleration, probably due to a malfunction which is now being assessed by the Aprilia engineers. The Spanish rider, who was in third row, started well, staying with the top-10 group, but then he lost ground, managing to stay in the points zone but far from the positions he deserved as shown during the weekend.
Hard luck for teammate Andrea Iannone as well, crashing during the eighth lap while lying sixteenth and making up ground with encouraging times. The crash was generated by a technical problem, which hindered his RS-GP.
MASSIMO RIVOLA - APRILIA RACING CEO
"This is a difficult moment. I feel like I need to send a message, first and foremost to ourselves. After qualifying and warm up, expectations for the race were high. The start was good but we realised straight away that something wasn't right. In fact, Aleix was unable to replicate the pace he had demonstrated in warm up. When he came back to the garage, he complained of a lack of power. We need to look into the cause. Andrea also crashed, but after a technical problem. These are problems that happened to both on new engines and it is our duty to figure out these problems."