FOURTH TIME IN QUALIFYING FOR ESPARGARÓ AND HIS RS-GP TO START FROM THE SECOND ROW AT MOTEGI TOMORROW
NEVER BEFORE HAS APRILIA BEEN SO FAR FORWARD IN MOTOGP
ESPARGARÓ: "WE ARE CONTENDERS FOR THE TOP POSITIONS"
In qualifying, Aleix Espargaró confirmed the qualities demonstrated in free practice. On the Motegi track he took the fourth best time, coming just 44 thousandths from a brilliant first row and now he is one of the protagonists for the race tomorrow. After an excellent Friday (second in the first free practice session and third in the second), Aleix easily went straight through to Q2 where, as he has done throughout this Japanese round, he battled with the best for the top positions, proof of the competitive level he has reached.
In the decisive session, characterised by a damp track with some dry spots, Aleix took advantage of the confidence gained on his Aprilia and stopped the clock at 1'53.947 on his decisive lap, earning the fourth spot and the second row of the starting grid for tomorrow. Never before in MotoGP history has an Aprilia started so far forward. This is a result that rewards Aleix's talent and the hard work of the Italian Racing Department who, throughout the season, have developed the RS-GP, the youngest bike on the entire grid.
Sam Lowes paid the price for the conditions of the Japanese track, difficult to interpret as it began to dry out. However, even though he was not able to reap the benefits of the work done yesterday in the wet, he improved compared to recent races, finishing in 18th place to earn a spot on the sixth row of the starting grid.