"This is an important GP for Aprilia, but the first day was not simple, despite the fact that we are giving it our all. We used these first sessions to create a base on which to work, since I have Pietro with me as my new crew chief. The first impact was good. He is a calm and thoughtful person, but of course, he needs to understand how the RS-GP works and what my needs are. I tried the new engine evolution, which behaves very differently than the previous one, and at the moment we are unable to take full advantage of the potential. We need to fine tune the electronics management in order to adapt to the new characteristics. I hope that we will be able to prepare a more effective package for qualifying and the race based on the data we have collected."
SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH BEST TIMES FOR REDDING AND ESPARGARÓ ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT MISANO
On the first day of practice at Misano in view of the upcoming MotoGP race on Sunday, both Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding were rather far from the top ten, which is the usual goal of the practice sessions in order to avoid the qualifiers on Saturday and to go straight through to the Q2 session that decides the first four rows on the starting grid.
Espargaró tackled the first day with his new crew chief, Pietro Caprara, and had to reckon with an adaptation process to his RS-GP's latest evolution engine, tested in August right here on this track, but being put through its paces for the first time in an official session. After his time of 1'35.544 in the first session, Aleix improved in the afternoon, finishing with 1'33.322 and now, weather permitting, he will have the last session on Saturday morning to try to get close to tenth place.
In the first session, Redding demonstrated good confidence with his Aprilia, just missing out on the top ten, finishing eleventh just 18 thousandths behind the tenth-place time. In the afternoon, however, partly due to a crash and consequent bike change, he was one of the very few riders who did not improve, so much that he finished seventeenth in the combined standings of the two sessions. Everything will be decided tomorrow for him as well.
"I felt very comfortable this morning. I started with the same setup as Silverstone, which seems to work better here. The feeling with the bike is good. I found a good rhythm and I was able to work on the various tyre options. The RS-GP feels more reactive and more responsive to my demands. In the afternoon, we continued in this direction. To be honest, I really can't explain the crash. Maybe a bit of humidity made the temperature drop a few degrees. Then, having to use the second bike, I struggled to improve my times, but I am happy. It's nice to find the right pace straight away at Aprilia's home race."