CLOSE TO Q2, ALEIX ESPARGARÓ AND MAVERICK VIÑALES CLOSE OUT THE QUALIFIERS IN TEXAS WITH THE 13TH AND 14TH TIMES. PROMISING RACE PACE FOR BOTH
The Aprilia Racing riders, Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales, will start from the fifth row of the grid in the Grand Prix of the Americas scheduled for tomorrow after obtaining the 13th and 14th time respectively in the qualifiers held at COTA.
With performances close to sending them straight through to Q2 in free practice, in Q1 Aleix and Maverick once again came extremely close to going through to the session that decides the top 12 spots, hindered only by traffic and a harmless crash for Espargaró.
Despite the complicated day in terms of qualifiers, both riders are still optimistic for the race, counting on the good pace recorded with used tyres in FP4.
“I’ve worked hard so far to be competitive on this track and, to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with the result today. We know we can battle for the top spots in the race because our pace is truly good, so I’m happy about that. Quite simply, I was never able to get in a good flying lap today with the soft tyre and the, on my final try in Q1, I also crashed. It’s true that I ran into traffic and that there were a lot of slow riders on the track waiting for the others, and that shouldn’t happen, but it was my mistake. I should have stayed more focused, and I should have just thought about doing my best. Today things didn’t go as we’d hoped and starting from the thirteenth spot will make everything a bit more complicated, but I’m optimistic. We are fast with used tyres, and I feel like I’m in good form physically. I think we can be competitive even in the second part of the race.”
“Today we had the potential to go through to Q2 and earn a spot on the second row. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to improve on our times with the new tyre and we’ll have to figure out why. On the other hand, we’re competitive with the used tyre, so much that our race pace is on par with the best. Of course, we’re starting from behind and it won’t be simple, but we still have the warm-up session to take a few more steps forward, after which anything can happen in the race.”