SCOTT REDDING TWENTIETH IN HIS DÉBUT RACE ASTRIDE THE RS-GP. HERE CHRONICLE AND COMMENTS FROM THE FIRST GRAND PRIX OF THE SEASON FROM THE LOSAIL INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT. NEXT RACE: 8 APRIL IN ARGENTINA.
Losail (Qatar), 18 March 2018 –A fuelling problem stopped Aleix Espargaró on the final lap, just as a good placement in the top ten was within reach.In the second half of the race, Aleix had found a good pace, moving up several position, thanks in part to a couple of crashes by riders ahead of him. At the start of the final lap, he had caught up to Miller (tenth) and Iannone (ninth) with a good chance of overtaking them, considering the significant difference in pace.
However, precisely during the last lap, a fuelling problem silenced the V4 in the number 41 Aprilia. In any case, Aleix managed to cross the finish line (in 19th place), but he had already lost his chances for the good result.
In his first race astride the Aprilia RS-GP, Scott Redding had to reckon with grip problems and was unable to move up from the rear guard, finishing twentieth.
ALEIX ESPARGARO' (bike no. 41): "Despite the result, I am satisfied with the way I managed the race. I gave 100%, using a very conservative map straight away and managing in any case to maintain a good pace. I hoped to be able to use the more aggressive map in the race finale, where we know that we are faster, but that wasn't possible. During the final lap I was about to attack Miller and Iannone, but some fuelling problems cost me a lot of positions.
A ninth place finish in these conditions would have been an important result. We need to work together to solve this problem, without which I am convinced that we would have been able to battle in the group of the best 5-6 down to the end."
SCOTT REDDING (bike no. 45): “I can't be pleased with the way the race went today. From the start I had poor grip on the rear and then at the end of the race things started working, so much that I did my fast lap on the last lap. Right now I am struggling to understand why. We need to analyse the data and it is most likely a problem that we did not have during the tests. Now we need to start working straight away to improve in view of the upcoming races. We know that our potential is greater than what we demonstrated today, but evidently we are missing something.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO, APRILIA RACING MANAGER: "This was a rather troubled weekend because of grip that came and went - extremely particularly tyre use conditions. These were very different conditions from last year as well as from those in the last pre-season tests.
Even if we are still lacking something, we found a good solution with Aleix in the race, but we had a fuelling problem just as we were about to bring home a good top ten finish."
FAUSTO GRESINI, TEAM MANAGER (photo above, on left, along with Max Biaggi, on right): "It's a pity about a problem like that right in the last lap that frustrated all the hard work done by the riders, Aprilia and the entire team. We still need to get to know this new bike well, but I think it has huge potential. This complicated the entire weekend but, given the way Aleix's race finished after a brilliant comeback ride, I'd say that we were also a bit unlucky.
It was a difficult weekend, but the bike has improved a lot and I am sure that we are not far behind the leaders. We know that we still need to make an effort, but we have a whole championship season ahead of us."