"I am happy with the way things went today. I continued using the upgraded bike and I had a good feeling straight away, especially in the morning. In FP2 I managed to be rather fast with used tyres. We need to work a bit more on grip at the rear, but overall, things are not bad. When I put on the soft tyre toward the end, on the other hand, something didn't work. The grip was not what I expected, so I was unable to lower my time. In any case, a combined top 10 spot is a good start to the weekend for us."
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ IN THE TOP 10 ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT SEPANG
The Malaysian weekend got off on the right foot for Aleix Espargaró, fast straight away on the Sepang International Circuit asphalt. The Spanish rider rode his Aprilia RS-GP to seventh place in the first session with a time of 2'00.552, demonstrating good sensations in the saddle from the start. In the first part of FP2, Aleix worked with used tyres in anticipation of the race, reserving the final moments for a time attack. The soft rear tyre used during this portion of the session did not give him the right feeling but, thanks to the time he had done in the morning, Aleix still held onto tenth place and with it, provisional access to the second qualifying session.
It proved to be a more complicated day for garage mate Scott Redding, hindered by grip problems and a crash (without consequences) during the second session.
"Today we had big grip problems. In braking I am able to limit the damage, but then I am lacking grip and the bike moves around a lot. I am struggling with chattering, which cause me to crash. We need to improve. I am forced to take risks to take advantage of the new tyre, but that isn't possible for the race."