THE APRILIA MACHINES DO WELL IN THE WET AT LE MANS

THE APRILIA MACHINES DO WELL IN THE WET AT LE MANS

MotoGP

SAM LOWES FINISHES FP2 IN THE TOP TEN FOR THE FIRST TIME

The weather, traditionally unpredictable at Le Mans, conditioned the first day of free practice ahead of the French GP on Sunday.

The morning session (FP1) was characterized by the uncertain asphalt conditions which, initially wet, dried out gradually but without ever getting to the point of being able to use slicks or to conditions that would allow optimum use of rain tyres. In this situation, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders preferred reducing their track time, finishing in 19th place with Lowes and 22nd with Espargaró, but putting in a total of just 15 laps.

In true wet conditions, the two riders took advantage of the second practice session (FP2) with Sam Lowes finishing in ninth place (at 1’42.988) and Aleix Espargaró in eleventh (1’43.177). For Lowes, this is his best placement in a session since his MotoGP début, a sign of the confidence that the English rider is gaining with the bike and the category. It is also a confidence booster in view of tomorrow's decisive sessions.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'
"This morning the track was in mixed conditions, so FP1 was not particularly useful. In the afternoon we were competitive enough in the wet. The new track surface provides good grip and I can't wait to try it when it's dry. Tomorrow it will be important to use our heads. We'll need to evaluate the track conditions and find the right time to use the slicks and push. It would be nice to go through to Q2, but if that doesn't happen, the important thing will be to work well in view of the race on Sunday."

SAM LOWES
"With the conditions this morning I did not feel particularly good, so we decided not to go out much. But in the wet I had a good feeling straight away with the RS-GP. Being in the top-10, even if it is in the rain, is an important step for me. Obviously I would like to maintain that position on a dry track too. It won't be easy, but already in Jerez, if we don't count the race, I had a good weekend. The important thing is to continue progressing and working hard."