APRILIA GOES THROUGH TO Q2 FOR THE FIRST TIME
ALVARO BAUTISTA TO START FROM THE FOURTH ROW AT MISANO
BRADL JUST MISSES Q2 AND EARNS THE BEST SPOT ON THE FIFTH ROW
For the first time since returning to MotoGP, Aprilia went through to Q2 and Alvaro Bautista rode his RS-GP to the fourth row on the grid.
The Misano Saturday had started off well for Bautista, who rode an excellent third practice session. In fact, in FP3 the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Spaniard put the tenth best time on the boards at 1’33.480. The combined rankings of the three sessions valid for going through to Q2, however, relegated him to eleventh place, when Pirro's withdrawal from direct qualification for Q2 opened up the doors to the session that decides the order on the first four rows of the grid. In the decisive session, Alvaro did not repeat his times from the morning sessions, finishing in twelfth place, which earns him the fourth row of the starting grid tomorrow and is the best grid position thus far for the fledgling RS-GP.
Bradl also had a very good day, missing out on Q2 by 301 thousandths of a second, but the third best time in the session (with a lap at 1’33.399) earned him the thirteenth overall place and therefore the best spot on the fifth row. The good performance by Bautista and Bradl in qualifying at Misano marks an important benchmark in the RS-GP project's growth.
“This morning we were able to improve the good feeling I had yesterday even more and during FP3 I felt very good, both in terms of my flying lap and in terms of pace. And I am really happy to have gone through to Q2, since it is the first time. In FP4 we took yet another step in the evolution that I was not too convinced about, but we decided to keep the bike in that configuration even in qualifiers, trusting in the new tyres. However, I did not find the same good feeling as the morning, so for the warm up session and, especially for the race, we will return to the settings we had in FP3 that gave me a lot of confidence. This time we are in a good position and I am rather confident in the pace we will be able to maintain, so a good start will be very important”.
“There is a lot to talk about today. I think that our times were very good overall. A bit of hard luck got in the way, given the fact that the mechanics and I decided to use the second bike in Q1 due to a small technical problem during FP4. I was able to take an excellent lap but not good enough to go through to Q2. Tomorrow morning in the warm up session we will check a few more things in terms of the chassis. We need to analyse the data well in order to select the best configuration for the race. We have improved significantly and I am expecting a heated race where we will be able to hold our own”.