GOOD SIGNS FOR APRILIA IN THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSIONS

GOOD SIGNS FOR APRILIA IN THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSIONS

MotoGP

FP1 AND FP2 AT ASSEN

Two extremely heated sessions characterized the first day of MotoGP practice at Assen. FP1 was suspended after a few minutes because of oil on the last sector of the track, resuming about 20 minutes later after clean-up operations. Aleix Espargaró used the session to gain familiarity with the track, using the same tyres on his Aprilia RS-GP for the entire session without attempting a flying lap. Determined to launch an assault on the top-10 in FP2, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider held on firmly until a few minutes from the end. In preparation for his final attempts, a misunderstanding in the garage concerning the front tyre cost Aleix precious minutes, keeping him from being able to improve on his position. The time of 1'34.491 earned him thirteenth place in the combined standings.

Sam Lowes was satisfied with his performance today, very much at ease on the Dutch track and improving consistently throughout the two sessions. The English rookie found a good setting for dry conditions, putting some interesting times on the sheets, even with a hard tyre. On his flying lap in FP2, Sam fell victim to a crash just as he was significantly improving his time. There was not much damage to his RS-GP or to Lowes' confidence in view of the race. His best time of 1'35.039 earned him twentieth place at the end of the day, less than a second behind the top-10.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'


"This morning we worked on preparing the bike without focusing on the flying lap because that would have been our priority in FP2. All in all I felt good. We still have work to do to improve in a few sectors, but the sensations are positive. In the afternoon I was able to be fast, finding a good base in the dry. Unfortunately, we lost too much time at the end of the session. I was only able to do one flying lap before the chequered flag came out and if it rains tomorrow it would be a shame to have to go through Q1."

SAM LOWES


“This was definitely a positive day. This morning I turned a lot of laps with the hard tyre. In view of tomorrow's forecast it was clear that FP2 would be fundamental for qualifying, so a lot of riders chose to save their soft tyres. I felt good. It's a pity about the crash but I was pushing and the first two interim times were very good. I am very happy about our performance on a dry track. We know that our bike treats the tyres well, so we can feel good about the race. Tomorrow it might rain. Assen is a track where anything can happen; I just hope it is not too cold."