"This morning I was able to be rather competitive. We just missed going through the Q2 by barely over a tenth and overall I am happy with our performance. In the afternoon during FP4, we worked on pace, turning some good laps with used tyres, but unfortunately I had a crash toward the end, making the bike unusable for the qualifiers. In Q1, I used the second bike and I did not have the same feeling, both in terms of grip and in terms of engine power output so, even pushing to the limit, I was unable to better my time. We are starting from the seventh row. It isn't an ideal position, but I am rather confident that I'll be able to ride a race similar to the one in Austin, recovering a lot of positions. Especially in the second half of the race: it will be hot, the tyres will be stressed and we know how gentle the RS-GP is on the rear tyre."
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE GP OF ITALY AT MUGELLO
The Italian coloured Aprilia RS-GP machines ridden by Espargaró and Redding will start from the seventh and eighth rows on the grid tomorrow in the GP of Italy, the sixth round of the MotoGP Championship.
For Aleix Espargaró, expectations were quite a bit higher, especially after his good performance in the morning session (FP3), where he battled for a spot in the top ten which would have taken him straight through to Q2.
Aleix had finished that session thirteenth (with a time of 1'47.248) just 162 thousandths behind the tenth place time. The final practice session had also confirmed the rider's good feeling astride his RS-GP- However, a crash toward the end of FP4 forced him to switch bikes in the decisive qualifying session. His decidedly poor feeling with the second bike kept Aleix far from the times he had done in the morning, relegating him to the seventh row with a time of 1'48.286.
Scott Redding was unable to find the right feeling with this bike once again at Mugello, qualifying with a time of 1'48.744 that places him in 23rd place, therefore at the centre of the eighth row.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to improve as much as we would have liked once again today. We tried a few changes, but the right feeling with the RS-GP here at Mugello is still not there. Tomorrow the race will be hard, starting from way back, so all we can do is give it our very best effort and bring home the best possible result."