THE RS-GP CONFIRMS ITS POTENTIAL EVEN ON A DIFFICULT WEEKEND

THE RS-GP CONFIRMS ITS POTENTIAL EVEN ON A DIFFICULT WEEKEND

MotoGP

ESPARGARÓ FINISHES THE RACE DESPITE A PIT STOP
LOWES CRASHES IN THE 12TH LAP

ALBESIANO: “WE HAD THE POTENTIAL TO STAY IN THE TOP TEN”

You need to search through the various sessions of the Texan weekend between practice, qualifying and the race to “filter” the performance of Aleix Espargaró and his RS-GP from the extraordinary chain of adverse events that clipped the wings of his ambition. Having started from the last spot on the grid for not having participated in the qualifiers on Saturday, Aleix found his pace after a few laps, catching up to 15th position. His times, improving decisively, even made a top-ten finish seem possible, something that would have been quite an undertaking. Instead, from the seventh lap, problems with the front end first slowed him visibly and then forced him to pit lane.

After changing the tyre and re-joining, without any more hope of a placement, Aleix lapped at a pace even better than the riders who were battling for tenth. This feedback and the times in the Sunday warm-up, the only positive notes on a weekend that was difficult like few others for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, confirm the potential of the Espargaró-Aprilia duo. Sam Lowes' race came to an early end after a crash when, after finding his pace, he had moved in behind Smith just behind the points zone.

Now it is time to head for Europe, with two days of testing at Mugello on Wednesday and Thursday. The goal is to pick up from all the positive that had been demonstrated in the first two rounds of the season.

 

ALEIX ESPARGARO'
"From the first laps I had a bad feeling with the front tyre. I kept losing it. I thought maybe it was because of the full tank, but things got worse lap after lap, so much that at a certain point I was no longer riding but just trying not to crash. Making a pit stop is always the last thought for me. It seems like a lack of respect for the work my team has done, but today I had no choice. When I re-joined with a new tyre, I lapped at my own pace without pushing, with the times we had expected. Now I want to forget this weekend quickly. In two days we will be on the track at Mugello to continue working and to be ready for the European races."

SAM LOWES
"I think that today was the slowest crash of my career. To be honest, it was a strange weekend for us. Even in the race, the harder front tyre was perfect on the left side in terms of feeling, whereas on the right I wasn't able to ride. The pace was what I had expected. I was able to stay in the group that was battling for points and despite a mistake in the early stages, I had managed to close the gap. Even on a weekend like this one, we were still able to take a few steps forward. My goal is to stay focused and to continue working with my team so that I can get to the point of exploiting the full potential of my RS-GP."

ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"Even with the handicap of a start from the last spot on the grid, we had the potential for a top-ten race, but instead Aleix had a problem with the front. After replacing the tyre he found the sensations and the times we expected, the ones from warm-up where he finished in ninth place. Sure, it was a particular track, with bumps and different grip than the previous tracks, which put us to the test, but without everything that happened to us, we were definitely capable of finishing in the top ten. But even here, we learned something and now we are headed to Europe confident because of what we demonstrated until now and even hoping that this whole series of episodes that hindered us here is over."

FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"The many crashes in practice conditioned the entire weekend, both for Aleix and Sam. When you begin like that, it makes everything harder. It's like starting on an uphill slope. The team was unable to work at their best for the race. But even an unlucky weekend has plenty to teach us and it has to be used to continue improving. Now we are waiting for the European races so we can leave this weekend behind us, well aware of our potential."