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Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) had a pretty impressive start to the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, taking ninth overall on Day 1 and provisional entry into Q2 – with the weather looking set to change on Saturday and laptimes therefore unlikely to improve.
One of two Independent Team riders in the top ten – the other being LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, the Championship leader – Espargaro was understandably happy with the day, and the step forward since 2017.
“I’m very happy,” beams the Spaniard. “I can consider this the best Friday practice since the season started. A year ago, this tracked proved to be the toughest one for me, whereas today we started off well, getting into the top ten straight away, and I am convinced that we still have margin for growth.”
It shows, he says, the development they’ve done throughout the winter. “This is further demonstration that the RS-GP is truly competitive, with clear improvements compared to last year's version. I am convinced of this and I think that to demonstrate it, all we need to do is finish the weekend without obstacles.”
Will the skies switch from blue to grey on Saturday? Find out in FP3 at 9:55am local time (GMT -5), before qualifying starts from 14:10.