ALEIX ESPARGARÒ CONFIRMS HIS PLACE AMONG THE FRONTRUNNERS IN THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE
MAVERICK VIÑALES ALSO ON THE RISE, CLOSE TO THE TOP TEN
With the first two practice sessions the MotoGP weekend got underway at the new Mandalika circuit on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. The premiere class of world motorcycling returns to the Asian country, one of the most important motorbike markets in the world, after 25 years. In those days, the two-stroke classes put on a show at the Sentul circuit and Aprilia enjoyed a double triumph with victories for Valentino Rossi in 125 and Max Biaggi in 250.
Both the first session - run on a partially damp asphalt due to the overnight rains - and the second in dry conditions, confirmed the good momentum of Aleix Espargaró, who finished the first session in sixth place and the second in seventh (in 1'32.008), a position he also occupied in the combined standings, 4 tenths from provisional pole. After finishing fourth in his debut race in Qatar, Aleix confirmed his position as one of the top riders even when the track and conditions changed, always able to exploit the obvious qualities of his Aprilia RS-GP.
At the new Indonesian track, whose asphalt has been partially resurfaced after winter testing and with the unknown represented by unseen tyres compared to the tests done here in February, Viñales showed an increase in his adaptation to the new RS-GP 2022 compared to the first race. Both in the first session, in precarious wet grip conditions, and in the second session he showed good potential. In the end he finished in thirteenth position (1'32.344), two tenths from the top ten.
"A pretty stressful but positive day. The new asphalt is definitely an improvement over the tests and, despite having less positive sensations than in Qatar, I was still able to be fast. Even this morning, in the worst conditions for my style - a damp track and slick tyres - the RS-GP performed well. Overall a good day even though qualifying here will be the real crux of the weekend: it's not easy to overtake here, so starting as far ahead as possible could affect the race".
"We have done a good job on the track, today we had different conditions between the two sessions but the behaviour of the new asphalt was definitely positive. The situation for me is definitely better than Qatar even if still not perfect. This is demonstrated by my fast lap, where I made more than one mistake, which means that there is room for improvement. We know we have work to do, my adaptation to the Aprilia is not finished and we have to continue on this path".