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11 days ago
By Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aleix Espargaro: “We had the pace for the top five”

Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider suffers a DNF in Barcelona

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) showed great pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but the local hero then suffered a mechanical problem during the race and feels he lost a chance to fight for the top five – or maybe even more.

Aleix Espargaro: "I am very disappointed. We did a great job throughout the weekend and we had the pace to make a play at least for the top-5, maybe even something more. I had a good start, but as early as the first laps I realized that performance was not the same as in warm up. Obviously, I kept going until the bike stopped. A technical problem has stopped us early in two races where we were competitive. It is not pleasant, but these things happen in racing."

However, despite the disappointment of race day, the work wasn’t done – with a one day test at the same track on the menu for the majority of the premier class on Monday, Aprilia included. Espargaro shot into the top echelons of the timesheets and was leading for some time, and eventually ended the day where he’d said his race pace would have taken him on Sunday – inside the top five, in fifth.

The rider from Granollers did 48 laps, with his fastest set on the 21st.

Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager: “This was definitely a good test. We took another step forward in terms of chassis setup and electronics. From this point of view, we improved brake engine operation and what is defined as RTD (rider torque demand), in other words, the diagram that manages the engine's reaction to the rider's demand. Overall, the RS-GP proved to be competitive on practically every circuit and we still have room to improve, especially in the first part of the race with a full tank. Aleix did a partial race simulation with some very interesting times and he found new benefits from the things we tested today.”

Next stop? Assen!

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