ESPARGARÓ HARD AT WORK ON HIS RS-GP, GRIP AND FRONT SETTINGS ARE THE ISSUES TO RESOLVE
LOWES IMPROVES FROM ONE FRIDAY SESSION TO THE NEXT
Partly due to the Texan track, which proved to be in less than stellar conditions, the first day of practice for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini was spent looking for the best setup on the RS-GP machines ridden by Espargaró and Lowes. The Circuit of the Americas in Austin was found in much different conditions than in 2016, with a series of bumps and dips. The two free practice sessions were therefore dedicated to finding the right settings for the front end in order to handle this irregularity of the American track and to a series of comparative tests to choose the rear tyre.
Aleix Espargaró, fresh from two encouraging performances in the initial races of the season, finished FP1 in ninth place (time: 2’06.411) and FP2 in fourteenth with 2’05.468. The standings are very tight, with 11 riders “squeezed” into 2’05. An improvement of a few tenths could be decisive in the final free practice session tomorrow that will determine who goes through to Q2. Sam Lowes continues his bike and category apprenticeship. His 2’06.741 in FP2 demonstrates a clear improvement compared to his 2’08.292 in the morning.