SEVENTH TIME IN QUALIFYING FOR MAVERICK VIÑALES
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ GOES THROUGH Q1 AND SNAGS A SPOT ON THE THIRD ROW
"HISTORIC" RACING LIVERY FOR LORENZO SAVADORI TOMORROW
Maverick confirms his excellent form once again on the Red Bull Ring, working well on race pace especially with used tyres and taking a promising seventh place in qualifying. The race tomorrow should be a delicate one, both due to how extremely even the playing field proved to be during practice and due to tyre management. This is where all the hard work during the preparatory sessions could prove to be decisive.
Things were not easy for Aleix, crashing in FP3 and therefore forced to go through Q1, where he showed no hesitation or uncertainty, finishing first to go through to Q2. During the second qualifying session, Espargaró's best time of 1'29.032 was cancelled due to an extremely slight contact with the "green" outside the kerb on turn 8. That performance would have earned him sixth place and a spot on the second row, whereas the Spaniard will now have to start from the ninth spot on the grid.
Lorenzo continued his work, despite a shoulder in less-than-optimum conditions, a situation that prompted him to take a cautious approach to qualifying. Tomorrow, Savadori will ride a special RS-GP in the race. The livery will represent a modern interpretation of the Aprilia colours from exactly 30 years ago, on the occasion of their first world title.
In 1992, in the 125 class, Aprilia earned the first of the 54 world titles which now adorn their trophy case - one of the richest in motorcycle racing. 30 years have passed since that triumph, but 295 wins have also been achieved, the most recent of which - and the most valuable - arrived during this fantastic 2022 season, thanks to Aleix's first place in the GP of Argentina. Never before, in their brief history, had Aprilia reached these levels in the premier racing class.
Savadori's livery will be a prelude to another surprise for fans of the Italian brand: save the date for the Misano GP round.
"Despite the crash and having to go through Q1, I'm rather satisfied. Compared with yesterday, we were able to make a good step forward and the cancelled lap in qualifying would have placed me even with Fabio, so that shows that we are not far off. Starting from the third row isn't ideal but we know that anything can happen in the race. I won't make any tactics and I'll simply try to give it my all right from the start."
"I'm very happy with the work we did. We improved from yesterday and it was a positive day where we learned a lot about how to best exploit our potential. It will be a difficult race in terms of tyre grip but we're ready. I have a good pace especially with used tyres, so I think we have a good chance at doing well. We just need to find a bit more grip and we are still not sure which tyre to use at the rear because the soft and medium seem to perform similarly. We'll take full advantage of the warm-up session to work hard on that."
"Today was anything but simple. My shoulder was bothering me. There are no injuries, but the muscles don't respond the way they should and that created some difficulties for me. In any case, we managed to work well, completing the comparison tests we had on the schedule. However, in qualifying, we decided on a more cautious approach in order to avoid stressing my shoulder. For the race, we're still not sure about rear tyre choice but our pace is good and we have the potential to do well."