MAVERICK FIFTH AND ALEIX SEVENTH ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE
Despite a cautious start due to track conditions, the initial sensations for Aleix and Maverick at Phillip Island are positive.
After the rain over the past few days, the two sessions today were held on a dry track but with low temperatures and significant wind, factors that forced the riders to take a gradual approach. However, both Aprilia riders were still able to find a fast pace quickly without making any drastic changes to the settings on their RS-GP machines, even managing to do a time attack in FP2 which took them easily into the top 10.
Tomorrow will be a crucial day as they prepare for the race, both because of how important it will be to qualify well and in terms of evaluating the tyres which, on the spectacular and fast Australian circuit, could be exactly what tips the balance.
"I’m happy. After two weekends where we struggled, it’s good to be back to having the right sensations. Today – especially in the morning – the conditions were rather demanding and I think that’s why everyone left some margin for improvement. In any case, being fast straight away is important. I felt good both with pace and during the time attack, although with higher temperatures tomorrow, we’ll improve performance significantly. I’m thinking that this will be a race where just being fast won’t be what counts as much as looking after the rear tyre in anticipation of the last 10 laps. That’s where whoever has done the best work will be able to make the difference.”
"Really very good. I felt like I was in good form straight away, despite the less than perfect conditions. Anyway, what I’m most pleased with is the fact that I never really felt a true limit. This means that we have margin for improvement, so we need to keep working because we can take a step forward in every area. The wind was definitely a factor with the bike moving around a lot but I think everyone is having the same issue so I’m not worried about it."