ALEIX ESPARGARÓ FORCED TO RETIRE DUE TO A PROBLEM WITH AN ELECTRICAL COMPONENT. NEXT GP: ON 22 APRIL 2018 IN THE UNITED STATES, CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS, AUSTIN, TEXAS.
Termas de Rio Hondo, 8 April 2018 – The expectations that Aleix Espargaró had built with a great Saturday qualifying were not met due to a problem with a simple electrical component that began right from the start and which, after compromising his performance, forced Aleix to throw in the towel. The disappointment remains for a race in which Aleix entered as a protagonist after his great qualifiers yesterday, but also with the awareness that the potential demonstrated throughout the weekend, he is ready to bring home results on Sunday as well.
Scott Redding finished twelfth, thereby bringing home his first championship points with Aprilia. But his race –in any case positive – was conditioned by a backache that tormented him the whole weekend. For him as well, the Argentinian round represents a good base from which to pick up for the upcoming races, given the clear progress compared to his début race.
ALEIX ESPARGARO' (bike no. 41): "To be honest, I felt very good today. But from the start, the bike responded strangely to the throttle when I accelerated from low speed. For everything else, the feeling was excellent, so much that for the first time in my career, I was able to handle the wet patches without any problems. Then things got worse with the collisions with Marquez and Petrucci who, quite frankly, took some avoidable risks. I cannot be happy with two consecutive zero finishes on two occasions when I felt like I could have battled for important positions. Now I want to recharge my batteries with my family before going to Austin, where we will pick back up from the good that we saw in these last two weekends."
SCOTT REDDING (bike no. 45): "It was a very long race. After lining up on the grid, there were some rather confusing moments. Fortunately, the delayed start gave everyone a chance to gain a better understanding of the situation.
Today it was basically about interpreting the track conditions straight away and I must say that things worked quite well. I lost ground on the longest straight, whereas on the rest of the track I managed to stay close to my rivals.
I am happy with the final result, both because I rediscovered the feeling after Qatar and for the guys on the team who really had to work under pressure today. Riding along with the other riders for the entire race distance also gave me a chance to better understand where the RS-GP and I need to improve and that will help us in the upcoming races."
ROMANO ALBESIANO, APRILIA RACING MANAGER: "A difficult weekend but one in which we demonstrated our speed with both riders, referring to the good qualifiers on Saturday where we brought home some good results that could have been even better. In the race, we had an electrical problem with Aleix's bike and Scott did his job, considering the physical conditions in which he raced due to a devastating backache. A bit of luck will come."
FAUSTO GRESINI, TEAM MANAGER: "If I look at the entire weekend, I see a Saturday where we did very well. We won Q1 and we were also protagonists in the final qualifying session. Scott's race is certainly positive. He earned points racing with a bad backache. Aleix did very well in practice and in the race he was also in a position to bring home a good result. Unfortunately, it went the way it did and we just need to focus immediately on the next race."
QUALIFYNG. Termas de Rio Hondo, 7 April 2018 –A GREAT ALEIX ESPARGARÓ IS FIRST IN Q1 AND RIDES THE APRILIA RS-GP JUST SHORT OF THE BEST. SCOTT REDDING ALSO DID WELL IN QUALIFYING THANKS TO A GOOD FEELING IN THE VARIOUS ASPHALT CONDITIONS. Changing weather characterized the qualifying day on the Termas de Rio Hondo track. In these conditions, which are always difficult, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia RS-GP into the spotlight. With a great Q1 session (first place for him), he earned passage into Q2, the session that decides the first twelve spots on the grid. Having gone through the first session, Aleix only had one new rear tyre available for the decisive session, but he still took full advantage of it, earning a nice seventh place and the first spot on the third row of the grid.
Scott Redding also demonstrated good confidence, especially on the wet track, in terms of race pace and performance. In first qualifying session, with the asphalt in mixed conditions, the British rider battled for a spot in Q2. Unfortunately, the rising temperature of his wet tyres kept him from shaving of the few tenths he needed to get into the top 12. Scott, who is still suffering with a backache, will start from the fifth row tomorrow.
Termas de Rio Hondo, 5 April 2018 –ON THE FRIST DAY OF PRACTICE AT THE GP OF ARGENTINA, APRILIA TAKES BOTH RIDERS TO JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN. Despite the uncertain weather, with a bit of rain and difficult conditions to interpret, both Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding improved significantly between the first qualifying session in the morning and the afternoon session, an undertaking that not all the riders in the MotoGP paddock managed as they prepared for the Argentinian race on Sunday. In the end, both just barely missed the top ten. Aleix finished twelfth (in 1'40.800) just 85 thousandths of a second behind the tenth best time and just ahead of Scott, thirteenth with a time of 1'40.839.
For the Aprilia riders, it was a day of hard work, complicated by the track conditions - rather dirty in the morning - and the uncertain weather in FP2. As always in the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini garage, efforts were focused both on the flying lap and on race pace. Aleix, pleased with the progress made in terms of electronics and power distribution, is keen to improve the chassis architecture. Redding also did some comparative resting with the settings used for the first race in Qatar.