ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES A NICE SEVENTH PLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN THAILAND

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES A NICE SEVENTH PLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN THAILAND

MotoGP

ANDREA IANNONE IMPROVES BETWEEN THE TWO SESSIONS AND FINISHES LESS THAN HALF A SECOND FROM THE TOP TEN.
BOTH SEEM CAPABLE OF GOING THROUGH TO Q2

The Aprilia RS-GP machines confirm the progress shown in Aragón and, on a circuit that was deemed difficult coming into it, Aleix finishes well within the top ten with a nice seventh place time and Andrea less than 5 tenths from a virtual Q2 qualification.

From the FP1 session in the morning, the two Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders took the good sensations from the last European race onto the track with them. In very tight standings, they were just outside of the top ten and then improved rather significantly in the second session. At the end of the day, Aleix took home an encouraging seventh place, just six tenths from the leader, and Andrea improved by more than seven tenths between the two sessions, finishing sixteenth but less than half a second from the tenth-place time.

Both riders seem to be capable of battling in tomorrow’s qualifiers for a spot among the top twelve who will compete for the front four rows of the starting grid.

With the Aragón result filed away satisfactorily, Aprilia takes on the first round of the MotoGP Far East tour. The final European GP was the best weekend of this season for the RS-GP machines: Espargaró and Iannone through to Q2 and then, in the race, Aleix’s seventh place just five seconds from the podium and Andrea’s eleventh place despite pain in his shoulder that had kept him from racing in Misano just a week prior.

However, the first overseas round at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram (Thailand) poses a new challenge for the Italian bikes on asphalt that has proven to be demanding for riders and mechanics. The high temperatures combined with a unique layout require a particular fine tuning which is a compromise between the stability required by the fast initial part and the agility that is so essential on the turns.

ALEIX ESPARGARO' 

"Yesterday we analysed the setup used last year very carefully and we decided to start with a completely different configuration. I felt good straight away, but we still need to improve something in the first two sectors where being able to use a slipstream makes a big difference. If we look at the standings, the gaps are minimal. I think that the positivity we are bringing from Aragón is also making a difference. Now we need to keep working on tyre choice. While I don’t have any big doubts about the front, on the rear I have the possibility of assessing a couple of options. Making the right choice could be vital, especially in the race finale."
 

ANDREA IANNONE 

"On this first day things went better than I had expected. I have positive sensations and I think that, with a few targeted changes, we could be able to make a nice jump forward. Unfortunately, I have never been good on the flying lap and I pay the consequences for that, but we are also working on this aspect. For tomorrow, I’d like to find something that lets me lose less on the fast section where, compared to Aleix, I am lacking a couple of tenths."
 

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