APRILIA OUTSTANDING AT ARAGON QUALIFIERS

ALEIX TO START FROM THE SECOND ROW (FIFTH), ANDREA GOES THROUGH TO Q2 DESPITE PAIN IN HIS SHOULDER.
NEVER BEFORE HAVE TWO APRILIAS STARTED SO FAR FORWARD IN MOTOGP.

With splendid qualifiers on Saturday in Aragón, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia RS-GP to a spot on the second row. This has happened only one other time in MotoGP history, two years ago in Japan, but on a wet weekend. The Spanish rider will start from the centre position tomorrow and he’ll be able to count on good race pace, preconditions for being a protagonist Sunday on a track that traditionally suits the characteristics of the Aprilia prototype.
 
Andrea Iannone’s qualifiers were also brilliant. Although still suffering with a painful left shoulder, injured in Misano, he was able to go through Q1 to Q2, beating Rins by 119 thousandths. In the second qualifying session, however, Andrea had to deal with the pain which kept him from repeating the time he had done in Q1 and improving on the eleventh spot on the grid. In any case, he will be starting from a comforting spot on the fourth row.
 
Happy with the team result, tester Bradley Smith did not take the best advantage of qualifiers, but he’ll be able to count on good consistency with used tyres. During the warm up session tomorrow, the British rider will try some ideas that came up in today’s sessions, looking for another step forward for the entire team.

ALEIX ESPARGARO' 

"Without a doubt, this is a great day on a good track for me and for Aprilia. I felt good from the very beginning in the various conditions. In qualifying I did a lap that was really at the limit. I pushed hard, taking some risks, but in the end, our starting position is very good. I am also confident for the race. In the simulations, we improved wear of the soft rear tyre and that could help us in the second half of the race. With the exception of Marc, I think that there are a lot of riders with a similar pace. Staying in the lead group will be important to then have a go in the finale. A good result before the far east tour would be a nice morale boost for me and for all the guys who work on this project."

ANDREA IANNONE 

"The starting position is good, but I could have done even better. Unfortunately, the pain in my shoulder intensified after three sessions in a row, so in Q2 I was unable to repeat the time I had done in Q1 that would have qualified me in eighth place. We will try to improve more for tomorrow. I am struggling in terms of grip and speed, even compared to Aleix, but in any case, I’ll give it my all in the race. Aprilia has a particular feeling on this track and it is a good chance to do well."

BRADLEY SMITH 

"A great day for the team, with both factory bikes in Q2 for the first time. For me, this promises to be a demanding race since I’ll have to start from quite far back, but I feel like I have a good pace. There are still a few ideas to try in the warm up session to shave off a few tenths. We’ll see what our potential will be in the race."