ALEIX ESPARGARÓ PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE RACE, TAKING A GOOD EIGHTH PLACE FINISH IN BRNO DESPITE A PENALTY

ESPARGARÓ PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE RACE, TAKING A GOOD EIGHTH PLACE FINISH IN BRNO DESPITE A PENALTY

MotoGP

ROMANO ALBESIANO: “ALEIX PENALISED BUT NOT AT FAULT”

At the end of a largely positive weekend, partially because of performance in the practice sessions, Aprilia takes a nice eighth place finish with Aleix Espargaró. But the final result on the Brno track could have been better if Aleix had not received a penalty that forced him to give up three positions in the race.

The measure was taken because, in the hectic moment when the riders were changing their bikes in the flag-to-flag race, Espargaró had left pit lane just as Andrea Iannone arrived behind him, also coming in due to the changed track conditions (from wet to dry). Close to their respective garages, the two touched and Iannone lost control of his bike. But Aleix could not see who was coming in behind him, so he suffered a penalty by no fault of his own which also led to him losing the good pace which had, until that moment, permitted him to stay among the protagonists of the race, even occupying second place at one point and battling for the spots near the podium. Sam Lowes finished his first flag-to-flag race 18th.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'


"The race was complicated from the start. I did not get off the line very well, but in the early laps I was making up ground. Then the track began to dry out rather quickly. I thought about going in straight away, even though I don't really like using slicks on a damp track. In any case, I was one of the first to change bikes, but unfortunately, the episode in pit lane involved Iannone. Luckily, there were no physical consequences for him and the guys on his team, but it is not easy to manage such a hectic situation. We will talk about it in Safety Commission. It seems appropriate to think of some change that would make the flag-to-flag situation less chaotic. In the second part of the race, I was unable to be incisive, both because I was using the less updated bike with which I had less feeling and because of the soft tyre choice on the rear that kept me from pushing. We definitely lost out on a good chance for an even better result, but finishing in the top ten in these difficult conditions is still an important confirmation of our level."


SAM LOWES


“The conditions today were very strange. We started in the wet, but the track dried out incredibly fast. In hindsight, maybe starting directly with slicks would not have been such a risk. In any case, this was my first flag-to-flag and I learned a lot from this new experience. You have to instantly adapt to a very different bike. Unfortunately, the evolutions that Aprilia brought this weekend were installed on the wet bike, so I did not have the same feeling. In any case, it was useful for me to confirm the big step forward with the new package, which certainly has greater potential."

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER


“From a technical and competitive point of view, this was a very positive weekend overall. We were fast in all the sessions and in qualifying too. Without the crash, Aleix would have been able to start from the second or third row. The race, as always in these cases, was a lottery, but we did well with our strategy. We are firmly in a good position that it well within the top ten. We are truly pleased with the nice step forward that the RS-GP made in this race. Unfortunately, we were penalised for an episode where the rider was not at fault. And this is also a situation that must be reconsidered. When many riders come into pit lane together to change bikes, chance plays too big a role. With this penalty, Aleix lost not only the positions, but also valuable time and, most importantly, his concentration and the good pace that he had shown up to that moment.”


FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER


“It was a good race and we are happy with the result. The bike has grown a lot. Aprilia Racing has worked hard and well and today we are even closer to the leaders, even if we have still not fully expressed our potential. A pity about the episode with Iannone where neither rider was at fault. From this point of view, the penalty inflicted on the rider is entirely unfair. A remedy and set rules for this situation will need to be found, but it is clear that the rider was not to blame.”