"In qualifying I was at the limit because I wanted to go through to Q2. I was doing a very good time, but a mistake on the final part of the lap cost me fundamental tenths. Unfortunately, that's the way the qualifiers are. It only takes the smallest mistake and you lose positions. Today was a difficult day. We had grip problems at the rear that keep us from stopping the bike and accelerating quickly. I'll give it my all in the race. Right now, our pace is not exceptional, but we should be able to battle in the points zone."
SEVENTH ROW FOR THE APRILIA MACHINES IN THE JAPAN GP
The qualifying session on the Japanese Motegi track placed both the Aprilia riders on the seventh row of the starting grid for the GP tomorrow.
Aleix Espargaró, despite demonstrating his potential for a much better position, stopped at the 19th best time at 1'46.183. After putting on the tyre for his flying lap toward the end of the first of the two sessions that decide the grid order, Aleix battled down to the last turn for one of the top two spots, a position that would have opened the doors to the next session. He recovered in the second and third sector, coming within just 22 thousandths of the first place position, but a mistake on the final corner cost him what he had recovered up to that point.
Scott Redding fell victim to a crash (without consequences for the rider), precisely during what would have been his best lap. His qualifiers finished there and the time of 1'46.571 that he had previously put on the boards earned him the 21st spot on the starting grid, also on the seventh row.
"During practice I felt good. We still have a couple of problems that we were able to partially mitigate. There is still some chattering which was also what caused my crash in qualifying. It gives us trouble on a couple of turns, but it costs us a lot of time and, above all, it exposes us to the risk of making mistakes. I'm still not sure about the tyre choice. I used the soft on the front, but I have some doubts. We'll evaluate it in the technical debriefing and see what the race conditions are."