PRACTICE AND QUALIFIERS CONSISTENTLY WITH THE BEST AND SECOND ROW FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÓ
MAVERICK VIÑALES STILL ON THE HUNG FOR THE BEST FEELING ON THE FLYING LAP, MORE CONFIDENT WITH RACE PACE
After going straight through to Q2 thanks to the top-ten position earned in free practice – thereby continuing the positive tradition from last season – Aleix took home a nice fifth place in the session that decided the starting grid order. His time of 1’53.298 placed him just 3 tenths of a second behind the pole-position rider. This confirms all the good feedback that came during the winter tests and the progress made by the fledgling RS-GP make him confident for the first race.
Maverick Viñales, still on the hunt for the best feeling with his new bike, was forced to participate in Q1, missing out on going through to Q2. His final time of 1’54.228 places him on the seventh row of the starting grid for the race tomorrow which will kick off the 2022 MotoGP World Championship season.
"I’m satisfied, although in FP3 I took a few risks, thinking that it would have been impossible for the others to improve. But the level of this MotoGP is extraordinary. We are all very fast and fortunately my time from yesterday was enough to put me straight through to Q2. In compensation, I worked a lot on race strategy, leaving the same tyres on for a long distance because I think that tyre choice for tomorrow will be crucial. We have what it takes to stay with the best. The Aprilia staff has greatly improved the RS-GP and if it seems like an exaggeration to say that I’m fast even riding relaxed, I definitely have more confidence on the bike."
"These are definitely not the results I expected, but this is certainly not the time to get discouraged. The only solution is to work nonstop. I tried many different things in spite of the fact that this is difficult during a race weekend and I’ll keep doing that even in the warm-up session tomorrow. We managed to take a few steps forward in terms of pace and that is an aspect that I’m pleased about, whereas on the flying lap I struggled with the front. It’s a problem that we had already encountered during the tests, but it is amplified here and that’s where we need to focus."