"I am pleased to be in the top 10, because if it rains tomorrow or if the track is not in perfect condition, this would mean going straight through to Q2. Overall, I felt good in the saddle. Braking stability has always been a quality of the 2018 bike and it is a very handy characteristic here. In FP2 there was no point going out with the rain and lapping with slicks would not have been useful, so we decided to stay in the garage."
GOOD START FOR APRILIA AT THE MOTEGI MOTOGP WEEKEND
Aprilia's weekend at Motegi got off on the right foot in preparation for the GP of Japan on Sunday. During the first session, held on a dry track, Aleix Espargaró made it into the top 10 with a time of 1'46.126, while teammate Scott Redding stopped the clock with a good twelfth place at 1'46.854.
The second session began on a damp track, less-than-ideal conditions and irrelevant in terms of rankings. In fact, no one was able to improve on their times from the morning, with various riders (including Aleix) staying in the garage for the entire session. Scott Redding went out in the final part of the session, putting on dry tyres, given the progressive improvement of the asphalt. The English rider found a good feeling with his RS-GP straight away in imperfect grip conditions, taking a nice second place time in the session rankings.
The battle to go straight through to the second qualifying session will resume tomorrow with FP3.
"I was surprised by the performance this morning. I had a good feeling straight away. I even made a couple of mistakes that cost me a few tenths on my lap. After Aragón, I took a step forward in terms of confidence with the RS-GP. I know it will be hard to repeat this performance tomorrow, especially on a dry track, but we'll keep working in view of the race. In FP2, I didn't want to waste the wet tyres, so I waited for the track to dry out and I must say that I really had fun riding in those conditions."