GREAT RECOVERY FOR ALEIX IN ARAGÒN: FOURTH PLACE TIME AND SECOND ROW FOR TOMORROW
A CRASH FOR MAVERICK IN Q1 FORCES HIM TO PREPARE FOR A COMEBACK RACE
The tension in the Aprilia garage was palpable today. Aleix, fresh from the two crashes yesterday, needed a solid performance in view of both tomorrow’s race and the battle for the championship title where he is one of the contenders. The Spanish rider reacted with grit and focus, without making any mistakes but rather increasing his confidence lap after lap. His progress was clear as he went through Q1, finishing at the top, and it culminated in a nice fourth-place time in the decisive qualifying session which puts him in the first spot of the second row on the starting grid.
On the other hand, some technical issues plagued Maverick in the two sessions ahead of qualifying. In any case, Viñales, fast and consistent yesterday, still demonstrated a decent pace today as well. Forced to go through Q1, he was the victim of a crash on turn 2 (his first of the season) as he was pushing to the limit in an attempt to gain some ground. His comeback ride tomorrow will begin from the sixth row.
"There was a lot of pressure today, I must admit. After two mistakes yesterday, I knew I would have to aim for a good result but I also knew that I couldn’t afford to be anything less than flawless. Not going straight through to Q2 certainly didn’t help the situation, but I never lost confidence in my ability to do well. At the end of the day, we did it and fourth place is a good starting point. We’ve got the pace too but I’m a bit concerned about managing tyre wear. Some of the other riders are faster than me and I may have to stress the rear tyre a bit more in acceleration to stay with them."
"Unlike yesterday, we had a few too many problems today that conditioned both FP3 and FP4. Then, in qualifying I simply had a go at it but I went into turn 2 very fast and crashed. We need to take advantage of days like this too, analysing the reasons for our difficulties and finding solutions that will allow us to improve for the future. Tomorrow I’ll have to come back from behind but I feel strong on the bike. Starting from the back will be challenging on this circuit but I’ll give it my all."