COUP DE RÉSISTANCE OF THE APRILIA PAIR CONQUERING Q2 – THIRD ROW FOR MAVERICK, FOURTH FOR ALEIX
The expected reaction after a complicated first day resulted in Maverick and Aleix shining in FP3 where, thanks to their respective third and ninth place times, they went straight through to the second qualifying session.
During FP4, on the other hand, the Aprilia riders focused on race preparation in anticipation of a Sunday which (weather permitting) will be a delicate challenge for riders and bikes alike.
In qualifying, Viñales did a respectable first run, whereas he was unable to fully exploit the soft tyre on his second run and had to settle for the third row with the eighth place time.
Espargaró, on the other hand, fell victim to a harmless crash just as he was improving his time and approaching the top spots. The times he did up to that moment earned him a spot on the fourth row.
"Compared to yesterday, we managed to improve the situation a bit but without finding all the speed I expected to have on this track. If we look at the tests from the beginning of the season, I’m slower, whereas the other riders maintained more or less the same pace. In qualifying I risked quite a bit. I was doing a good lap that would have been enough for the first or second row but I was too close to the limit and I crashed. I won’t let it get me down, though. Anything can happen in the race and I won’t be pulling any punches."
"We need to be realists. Some weekends we’ve had the pace to battle with the leaders, whereas here we are missing something. In FP3 today I felt good, but in terms of pace I didn’t have the same sensations, in spite of an improvement compared to yesterday. Eighth place in qualifying isn’t bad. With a good start, I’ll be able to stay with the group. Tomorrow in warmup we’ll try a different setup to see if we can increase grip a bit and we’ll give it our all in the race."