30 June 2017
Aprilia started off well in the MotoGP weekend that will lead up to the German GP, scheduled for Sunday on the Sachsenring. In the first free practice session (FP1), which was held on a perfectly dry track, Aleix Espargaró stayed consistently in the top end of the rankings, battling with the best and finishing with an excellent fourth place (1’21.832, just over two tenths of a second behind the leader) which, as confirmation of the great progress the RS-GP has made, is the best placement the Italian bike has made in a session valid for deciding the starting grid order.
The second session, on the other hand, was held on a wet track due to the rain which, faithful to the weather forecast, fell before and during the session. But even in these conditions, the RS-GP demonstrated the great balance it has achieved and, ridden by Aleix, took a final fifth place with a time of 1’28.527. Also showing his stuff in the session was Sam Lowes who, after showing progress on the dry track (he had finished FP1 in 15th place), took an excellent ninth place time (1’28.994) that gives Aprilia Racing Team Gresini two riders in the top ten in a single session, a first for the 2017 season.
“I am very happy. I don’t really love the layout of this circuit, but I’ve always benn fast here and once again today I was fast both on the dry track and in the wet. This morning we tried to do as much work as possible with the tyres. Given the risk of rain, it was important to gather information, and I was competitive with the various combinations. The new asphalt has really good grip. We’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow, but I can say that I am satisfied with what we have demonstrated thus far.”
“I came here with some doubts, because this circuit has given me problems in the past, but already in FP1 I felt good. I lapped fast, without making mistakes, with a good feeling and improving consistently. In the wet things also went well. I am able to ride well and set a good pace from the early laps. I am feeling positive. I am growing continuously and I feel like the RS-GP is more and more mine.”