MAVERICK VIÑALES CONFIRMS HIS GROWTH WITH A SPOT IN Q2 WITHIN REACH, BUT HINDERED BY A MISTAKE IN JUDGEMENT BY HIS TEAM
LORENZO SAVADORI ALSO DOES WELL, FINISHING ELEVENTH IN THE FIRST QUALIFYING SESSION
Fantastic qualifiers for Aleix Espargaró who, after two days tormented by rain and wind, took advantage of the first dry session to reiterate his and his RS-GP’s value, making a decisive step that earned him a spot on the front row (third-best time at 1’42.235) for the race tomorrow.
From the winter tests, Aleix has been one of the fastest MotoGP riders. His synergy with his Aprilia continues to grow and having the right track conditions was enough to reiterate that. However, Aleix skilfully built the good result today also thanks to a good session in the wet in the morning FP3 session when, in the driving rain, he took home a spot in the top ten which sent him straight through to the decisive qualifying session.
Maverick Viñales on the other hand, missed going through to Q2 by no fault of his own after demonstrating that he had what it took to get onto the front rows. First finishing just 56 thousandths outside the top ten in the FP sessions and then, just a few minutes from the end of Q1 – started in wet conditions but with the track drying off rapidly – when a judgement error by his team on which tyre to put on for the decisive time attack delayed him from entering the track, so much that he did not have an opportunity to attack for the top two positions. He’ll be starting from the fifth row, well aware of his speed and his growing feeling astride the RS-GP.
Lorenzo Savadori also did well in qualifying, on the track to continue working on developing the bike during the race weekend and defending well to finish eleventh, a placement that earned him a spot on the seventh row of the grid. For him there are updates, especially in terms of electronics and chassis architecture, that he’ll be testing tomorrow in the race.
"I am really happy because these conditions are always hard for me and I was even a bit worried about all the crashes we saw, especially thinking that we are only in the fifth race of the season. Si, I went on track calmly, wanting to use the first few minutes to figure out the track and then push. For tomorrow we’ll see, first and foremost, what happens with the weather. I was competitive in the rain, making it into the top ten, and I also feel confident if it’s dry. I feel good on the bike and we’ll be able to fight for the podium with the right conditions."
"These were difficult conditions and the main problem was in FP3, when I was unable to push hard enough to go straight through to Q2 and that was after we had consistently been with the leaders in all the previous sessions. But the race is tomorrow and now what counts is doing a good warm-up session, pushing as hard as possible, and being fast in what will be an extremely long race."
"I’m actually not super happy because I was only able to do one lap on slicks and in these conditions I felt like I really could have aimed for the top positions. But I have to thank everyone on my team who, on our first race, had to tackle extremely difficult conditions. We’re here, above all, to further the development of the bike and, thanks to Aprilia Racing, we are getting lots of upgrades and new features to test in the race."