09 Mar ALEIX GOES STRAIGHT THROUGH TO Q2 AND WILL START FROM THE FOURTH ROW TOMORROW
9 March 2019
ANDREA ON THE SEVENTH ROW BUT CONFIDENT WITH RACE PACE
BRADLEY SMITH AND THE TEST TEAM AT WORK FOR DEVELOPMENT, EVEN IN THE RACE, OF THE RS-GP
With the valiant performance of yesterday that earned him a nice spot in the top ten (ninth best time), Aleix Espargaró went straight through to the Q2 session. And so, in FP3, which actually had no bearing on the grid order due to high winds, and in FP4, Aleix worked on distance, managing to find a good pace for the race.
Once in the qualifiers, he was unable to take advantage of the flying lap with rather cold and windy track conditions compromising the grip of his RS-GP just when he had put on the second tyre for the decisive session. He therefore finished 12th with a time of 1’54.917 and tomorrow he’ll start from the fourth row. This is a position that leaves his chances to battle for a top-ten spot fully intact.
The weather conditions in FP3 complicated Iannone’s already task of moving up on the grid. In fact, none of the riders managed to improve on their times from yesterday and Andrea was forced to go through Q1. He finished with a time of 1’56.464 which places him on the seventh row of the starting grid tomorrow.
Bradley Smith, with the third Aprilia, continued his development programme of the Italian V4 and the race tomorrow will also be an important step in the growth path of the promising 2019 RS-GP.
“The track conditions during the qualifiers were truly treacherous due to the wind combined with the asphalt temperature. It is a situation we really need to think hard about because it is truly dangerous. On my flying lap, with the second tyre, I lost the front end twice. It was my mistake, but with the medium on the front, which is the tyre that I’ll need to use, it was really difficult, so I wasn’t able to improve on my time. Now we need to think about the race. We have a good pace over race distance and I think that we’ll be able to battle for a spot in the top ten, but if the conditions are like they were today, it will be a difficult race for everyone.”
“The conditions were rather difficult today at the time when the race will be held with a lot of wind and low temperatures. If it is like this tomorrow, it will not be simple for anyone. The qualifiers didn’t go remarkably well, but I’m definitely in better shape with used tyres. From the tenth lap on, I’ll begin to feel better, whereas on new tyres, I am unable to take full advantage of the RS-GP. It is a behaviour that we are analYsing to try to understand how to solve it. I’m not worried. I am concentrated and entirely focused on the job we need to do. I want to understand the bike’s weak points, solve them and grow race after race.”