Q2 AND FOURTH ROW FOR STEFAN BRADL, FIFTH ROW FOR BAUTISTA
The RS-GP machines confirm their progress once again in the Aragón qualifiers, with Stefan Bradl good enough to go through to Q2 and Alvaro Bautista just missing the second session by 3 tenths. The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders will therefore start from the fourth (twelfth best time for Bradl) and fifth row (fourteenth for Bautista).
Stefan and Alvaro continued their hard work in the two practice sessions, searching for the best race pace on a track that had already highlighted the close times yesterday using a new tyre, but significant drops in pace lap by lap. This is a situation that makes it essential on one hand, to choose the most suitable tyre of the available options and on the other, to constantly fine tune the electronic and chassis configurations. During morning FP3, Alvaro was also involved in a harmless crash during a session that was noted for the many falls because of the rather cold asphalt.
In Q1, Bradl and Bautista started off enthusiastically, putting good times on the sheets from the first outing. Back in pit lane to change tyres, they then went after the top two spots, the ones that would send them through to Q2. Stefan earned the privilege with the second best time, 1'48.622, just 26 thousandths behind the best. Alvaro, on the other hand, just missed the second qualifying session by less than 3 tenths with a time of 1'48.904.
In Q2, Stefan Bradl gave it his all, not having new tyres available, but taking a promising twelfth place.
"The conditions this morning were not the best. I crashed without pushing particularly hard, losing a bit of confidence. In the afternoon we picked up where we had left off. In FP4 especially, I did a lot of laps on a used tyre, maintaining a good pace and that makes me very hopeful for the race. In qualifying, during my fast lap I made a small mistake on the last corner that surely cost me a few tenths. In any case, we are starting from a good position as we have for the last few races and this demonstrates our progress. We can say that we are reaping the benefits of what we have done so far on the RS-GP. Tomorrow we have all our papers in order to set our sights on a good result".
"A great day for us. Going through to Q2 is an important achievement. We have not made any big changes compared with yesterday. We simply fine-tuned the setup since the sensations were already good. This morning was not easy. We saw many crashes and I almost had a sliding crash myself at a certain point. In the afternoon the situation improved. I had a good feeling with my Aprilia and we were able to do a fast lap to go through to Q2. At that point I did not have any new front tyre to use, but my starting position makes me confident anyway. We have prepared for the race as best we can. If the conditions are like they were today we will be able to do well".