TWO APRILIAS ON THE SECOND ROW WITH MAVERICK FOURTH AND ALEIX SIXTH
The surprises just keep coming in the 2022 MotoGP championship. The predicted rain at Motegi arrived – abundantly – right at the most demanding time of the day. After the FP3 session was cancelled, the riders waited in their respective garages for the green light to get out on track and push for the best possible qualifying time. The demanding conditions and the fact that they only had a few kilometres of preparation under their belts highlighted the riders’ skills and the precision of the work done in the garage.
Aprilia came through the exam with head held high. Maverick and Aleix qualified respectively fourth and sixth to start from the second row tomorrow. In a race that should be on dry asphalt, a good grid position (as well as a good start when the lights go out) are essential requirements to aim for an excellent result.
"I’m optimistic. Today wasn’t easy – the conditions, the waiting, the importance of qualifying well – all factors that must be managed. We came through with heads held high, with a good position and, quite frankly, with a good feeling in the wet which is certainly not my favourite terrain. This, along with the position as compared with Fabio and Francesco, makes me optimistic. However, we have only done 50% of the job. We still need to do the other 50% which is doing a good start. Overtaking is not easy here and we also won’t have much information to base our tyre choice on. The analysis done in the garage will make the difference, but I feel ready without a doubt."
"Extremely important qualifiers. We always have the potential in the race but a spot on the first or second row is the minimum goal to turn good pace into a good result. In this respect, I’m satisfied. With this crazy weather, staying focused was important. I am highly motivated and I’m confident that we’ll be able to ride a good race tomorrow, battling at the front. Tyre choice will be fundamental with such limited data available if the track is dry. In any case, I’ll push from the start and if I have a shot, I won’t pull any punches."