MOTOGP – QUALIFYING AT JEREZ
APRILIA IMPROVES AND BAUTISTA JUST MISSES QP2 TWICE
The Aprilia RS-GP machines, after an encouraging season start, demonstrated progress in terms of pure performance in the first European round at Jerez.
The quickest to benefit was Alvaro Bautista, who just missed getting into QP2 twice. The first time was in the last practice session that decided the order (FP3) when he finished with the 11th best time at 1’39.935, just 48 thousandths behind the tenth place time which would have qualified him directly for QP2, and keeping the gap behind the front runner to less than 7 tenths. Then in QP1 Alvaro finished in third place (1’40.239), just missing out on the last spot that would have “promoted” him to QP2 by 24 hundredths of a second. His disappointed for the missed opportunity is mitigated by his spot on the fifth row of the starting grid (13th place), earned with the best qualifiers yet astride the Aprilia.
The other Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider, Stefan Bradl, finished QP1 in eighth place (at 1’40.835), which places him on the sixth row. The very close ranking – both in qualifying and in free practice – also leave open excellent opportunities for a good race tomorrow.