"I am happy. The bike has improved a lot since yesterday. Even in the session this morning, we were close to the leaders and we missed going straight through to Q2 by a few thousandths. In the last free practice session, I maintained a very good pace with the used tyres. Then in Q1 I was just 40 thousandths short of going through, with a lot of strong riders like Dovizioso and Viñales and with a time that was not far from the ones on the front rows. Yes, I am satisfied and I think that tomorrow we'll be able to do a good race. We worked well and my Aprilia has improved. We will need to have a good start and maintain a good pace. Especially in the second half, we will really be able to be competitive and aim for a good result."
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ RIDES OUTSTANDING QUALIFIERS BUT MISSES Q2 BY 40 THOUSANDTHS. HE WILL START FROM THE FIRST SPOT ON THE FIFTH ROW
NINTH ROW FOR REDDING, HINDERED BY POOR GRIP
The outcome of Espargaró's assault on Q2 was decided twice by thousandths of a second. In the morning in FP3, when he missed going straight through to the final qualifiers by 82 thousandths and then in Q1 when a pass on the decisive lap forced him into third place with a time of 1'38.389, just 40 thousandths behind Viñales, who took the spot that pushed him through Q2. Aleix is well aware of the potential to have an Aprilia RS-GP in the race tomorrow ready to make a play for his chances, partially because of the good pace achieved on used tyres in the last free practice session.
Scott Redding finished with a time of 1'39.918, hindered by a lack of grip today, and he will start from the ninth row.
"We need to try and understand where our problems are coming from. I don't have grip at the rear in any condition and I can't push because things get worse. I don't know if it's a matter of working on the setup or on tyre choice. Right now the limit is insurmountable. In the morning, with lower temperatures, grip improves a bit, but in race conditions I really struggle to ride. I can't find any excuses with the track because the other riders manage to be fast and even Aleix has improved a lot from yesterday, so the asphalt conditions are OK."