ALEIX ESPARGARÓ GOES THROUGH TO Q2 AND TOMORROW WILL START FORM THE FOURTH ROW IN THE JEREZ GP
GOOD RACE PREPARATION FOR SAM LOWES AND HIS APRILIA
The final day of practice before the Jerez GP had the Aprilia riders working on their RS-GP machines in preparation for a race that promises to be rather heated. In fact, the two free practice sessions were characterized by extremely close gaps. For example, in FP4, in twelfth place Aleix Espargaró was just over six tenths from the first place time.
The quickly rising temperature and the consequent decrease of grip on the track will be the key factors for the 27 laps tomorrow. These are conditions that have enhanced the characteristics of the RS-GP machines thus far.
Precisely for this reason, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders are confidently anticipating the first European Grand Prix of the 2017 MotoGP season. Aleix Espargaró came through Q1 selection with a brilliant lap, later having to throw in the towel after a crash in Q2. Tomorrow he will start from the fourth row with a good pace and the extra motivation of his home crowd. Sam Lowes is also smiling, slowed a bit in Q1 by a small technical issue but able to lap in FP4 at a decidedly consistent pace. The British rider took a fairing with new aerodynamics on its maiden run, a solution that he will most likely also use in the race.
“At the moment, we have a good pace, especially with higher temperatures and poor grip conditions. In these situations, we usually struggle less than the others. In any case, we need to improve front end stability. I am too close to the limit in braking and in the race we cannot risk on every lap. During Q2 I did not have any more new front tyres since I had used them to get through Q1 and I noticed straight away that it would have been difficult with the new rear. I always give one hundred percent because I am always aiming for the best result. Unfortunately, I crashed while I was pushing.”
“At the beginning of Q1 we were hindered by a small problem with the fuel pump. That kept me from making a second run, where I could have improved. In fact, this weekend I am feeling at ease with the bike and I am taking some good steps forward. I am optimistic about the race, partially because in FP4 I maintained a very consistent pace – enough to be able to battle with the riders ahead of me – so the goal is to try to earn my first points. Today I used the new downforce fairing and I will also use it in the race. It helps me to have more stability coming out of corners.”