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.