3 March 2018
In the Aprilia garage, the work programme is divided, but the sensations at the end of the second day of tests in Qatar are similar. In fact, both Espargaró and Redding are satisfied with the way the tests are going, the last ones before the season opener.
Espargaró went out on the track with different chassis settings looking for more confidence on the Losail asphalt and his feeling at the end of the day satisfied the Spanish rider. Tomorrow Aleix will work toward improving, especially in braking and acceleration, before doing a race simulation long run.
This is a simulation that Scott Redding did toward the end of the session today, completing about 15 laps with excellent times and consistency. The new entry in the Aprilia camp confirmed the quality of the Italian V4 in terms of proper tyre wear management, able to use a soft tyre on several laps without evident signs of deterioration.
“We have to be happy. We are making progress and working hard. I still don’t feel like I’m at my best braking, but overall I am satisfied with the way the tests are going. We are struggling to take full advantage of the new tyre for a fast lap, but we are competitive in terms of pace. I am very curious to see my race simulation tomorrow and what the others will do in order to have a more concrete idea of what our potential could be over race distance. As for what we’ve seen up to now, and counting on improving more, I think that we will be able to demonstrate a good pace.”
“Today we weren’t focusing on lap times, but we worked to prepare for the final long run. I had done one in Thailand that did not satisfy me, whereas here, despite starting later than race time, things went rather well. The times and the easy ride satisfied me, although there is still work to be done in order to increase the edge grip. I used a soft tyre on the rear, which is new for me, and I was surprised at how good condition it was in at the end and how my feeling improved lap after lap.”