ALEIX FIVE THOUSANDTHS FROM THE TOP TEN – Gresini Racing
5 July 2019
ANDREA ALSO GROWING IN CONFIDENCE WITH HIS APRILIA AND AIMING FOR Q2
It was a rather positive first day of practice for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini on the German Sachsenring, in preparation for the GP on Sunday.
Aleix Espargaró – who is still suffering due to the two fractures to his left leg in the accident in Barcelona and despite encountering a bit of traffic on the track – finished the combined standings with the eleventh best time (1’21.543) just five thousandths from a top-ten spot. Andrea also showed his stuff, taking eighth in the morning session and then – improving up to a time of 1’21.785 – he finished just 2 tenths of a second behind tenth place.
There are still some fine-tuning steps both riders need to test on the RS-GP tomorrow, but both are coming away from this Friday with good sensations and rather confident in their chances of going through to Q2 in the decisive sessions.
“Physically I feel a bit better than in Assen, but on this track, with a lot of left-handers, my ligament continues to suffer. I think that the situation will improve throughout the weekend. I don’t like taking painkillers, so I’ll try to limit them to the minimum. In terms of pace, I did two good sessions. I am riding better than last week. Given the characteristics of the track, working well in preparation for the race is essential. There is a lot of spinning and the tyres need to be managed as best as possible. On my flying lap in FP2 I ran into a bit of traffic. In the end, I missed the top 10 by 5 thousandths, but even the top six spots are just a few tenths off, so I am optimistic.”
“Overall, the sensations are good. There are still some details on the bike that need improving. For example, we need to find more grip at maximum lean angle and we are not fast going into turns. Given the gaps and the feeling I am finding, tomorrow we’ll be able to take a shot and going through to Q2. It is a reasonable target. As for the tyres, there seems to be a significant drop in performance for all the options, so they will play a fundamental role in the race on Sunday.”
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