3 September 2023 - Aleix and Maverick continue to make Aprilia history in MotoGP. After the double podium yesterday in the Sprint Race, their domination today on the Circuit de Catalunya was even clearer. Aleix finished first and Maverick second, a first in the history of the Italian manufacturer.
Unfortunately, the start was conditioned by two accidents on the first corners which led to an immediate stop. A multiple pile-up on turn 1 and a violent high-side by Bagnaia forced Race Direction to wave the red flag, resulting in the fast restart procedure with the race reduced by one lap.
At the second start, Maverick moved quickly into the lead, running way at the front with Aleix and Miguel Oliveira following. The three Aprilias set the pace, confirming the grand form already demonstrated yesterday. After losing a big of ground behind his teammate, Espargaró began a slow but inexorable comeback until overtaking in the braking section on the first corner during the nineteenth lap. A procession finish closed out the Spanish Sunday, after which both riders wisely managed their advantage over their rivals.
Aleix Espargaró (bike no. 41): “The greatest day of my life, although not at all easy. At the second start, after seeing Bagnaia’s bad crash, I was tense and nervous and I lost ground behind Maverick. Then I decided to push, without thinking too much about tyre wear or the risks, because I really wanted to battle for the win.
When I caught up with him, it was rather clear that he was having difficulty with grip, and I overtook him. It’s incredible to see two Aprilias ahead of everyone. It means that we are growing, but we mustn’t be fooled into thinking that we’ve already arrived. We still need to work hard together, proud of what we are doing and all united, moving towards the same objective.”
Maverick Viñales (bike no. 12): “I’m extremely happy with what we are doing in Aprilia. Here I have found motivation and an extraordinary team, and it is exciting that now the results of our work are visible to everyone. This scenario was difficult to even imagine. I made a wager with myself, but I was fully convinced. The win will come. The important thing is to be consistent and to have a fast bike on every track.
Today I had to slow down at a certain point, especially due to front tyre wear, but I still had good grip at the rear. Maybe Aleix’s riding style works better from this point of view. In any case, two podiums in one weekend are an extremely good personal result, especially because we have done something unique as a team.”
MASSIMO RIVOLA - APRILIA RACING CEO: “First of all, best wishes from all of Aprilia for a fast recovery to Bagnaia and Bastianini. I know they are still undergoing medical checks and I hope that everything works out for the best. As for us, we cannot help but celebrate an extraordinary team result which once again rewards the hard work of the riders, the track staff, and the entire racing department.
Against all predictions, we were always the first to believe in our potential, well aware that with dedication and constant commitment, great milestones can be achieved. And we are certain that we gave President Colaninno great joy as well – our number-one fan. Now is the time to celebrate, but from tomorrow morning, we’ll be hard at work again, as always, with our usual Aprilia passion and a pinch of extra euphoria.”
CATALAN GP, SATURDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2023.
CATALAN GP, THE PRACTICES OF FRIDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023.