8 September 2017
Aleix Espargaró and Sam Lowes tackled the first day of free practice at Misano as the natural continuation of the tests held here two weeks ago. In continuity with those sessions, the Aprilia team continued working especially on tyre choice, partially because of the asphalt conditions which are rather different than those they had found during the tests.
The comparison between the various solutions continued until the final laps, giving the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini technicians plenty of feedback which will be translated into the final choices for the settings tomorrow in the decisive qualifying session.
In both FP1 and FP2, Aleix Espargaró (who finished in eleventh place with a time of 1’33.832, just 6 tenths behind the leader) tested a new aerodynamic fairing on his RS-GP. The feedback was very positive, so much that the new aerodynamic solution will be used again tomorrow.
Slowed in part by a couple of harmless crashes, Sam Lowes finished the Friday sessions in 22nd place with a time of 1’34.903.
“I struggled a bit more than I had expected because the track conditions are very different than they were for the tests. There is not much grip and I have a bit of trouble stopping the bike. These are the two main areas to work on. We also saved a few tyre solutions for tomorrow, since we know which tyres work best thanks to the tests. I liked the new fairing a lot. I had asked the engineers for it and they did a great job getting it ready in just 10 days. I will definitely use it for this weekend, but I think it is a solution that can work well on all the tracks.”
“A strange day for everyone. A lot of guys tested here not long ago, including us, but today the track conditions were completely different. This morning the asphalt was damp too, which was just one more difficulty. Despite everything, we found a good base to work on tomorrow, especially in the final laps of the second session. I’m in a group of riders that are all within a half a second of one another. Tomorrow with higher temperatures we will definitely be able to have our say.”