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Aquaplaning leaves Aleix Espargaro disappointed with P7

Aprilia rider was at the top throughout wet practice, but found the race tougher going as conditions worsened

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was aiming for his first podium with Aprilia in the Japanese GP, after some stunning pace in practice had seen him in or near the top three at the rainy venue. But it wasn’t to be, with aquaplaning starting to cause issues for the Spaniard in the race – which proved much wetter than many of the other sessions leading up to it.

“I didn’t find the pace all race and it’s very frustrating,” said Espargaro. “After the solid weekend we had and the speed we showed in the wet in every session, it’s really bad to end the race in just seventh. It’s not bad for the championship because it looks like we can fight for tenth with sixth place last race and seventh here so it’s a bit better than other races, but obviously after the weekend we had I was aiming for something better. But I had a lot of aquaplaning on the straight and it was very frustrating, we need to understand why.”

Not the race i expect, a lot of spinning and lack of grip! Looking forward to Australia! Sayonara Japan! ????????

A post shared by Aleix Espargaro (@aleixespargaro) on

The Granollers native nevertheless remains optimistic about the next stop on the calendar, Phillip Island, and is hoping he can show a similar performance to Japan but maintain it on race day.

“I’ll giving my best in the next races to try and achieve the top five or the podium,” stated the Spaniard. “I hope we can have a better weekend in Australia, I’m sure that if it’s wet we’ll be in front and the same if it’s dry so we’ll go there and try and improve on this seventh place.”

It’s a quick turnaround on the triple-header, with action kicking off on Friday.