"I am very pleased with this first day, both for the top-10 position and for the final time that was very fast. In the last few races we found a good base setting and along with my crew chief, Antonio, we decided not to make too many drastic changes to the bike. The strategy seems to be working. I am able to get the most out of the technical package and that remains my goal in this season finale."
PROVISIONAL Q2 FOR ALEIX AFTER A GOOD FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN JAPAN
With the looming threat of rain conditioning practice strategies, the first two sessions on the Japanese Motegi circuit had all the riders pushing hard straight away, almost in a sneak peek of qualifying. This was especially the case in the afternoon FP2 session, fundamental for going straight through to Q2 in the event of a wet track tomorrow morning.
Aleix Espargaró managed to get into the top 10 on his final attempt with a time of 1'45.721, less than one second behind the leader. There were good sensations for the Spanish rider who, even on the Japanese track, is continuing the positive streak demonstrated in Aragón and Buriram.
Andrea Iannone had a bit more difficulty, lacking that extra punch in his time attack during FP2. Andrea complained of a certain aggressiveness in his RS-GP’s behaviour, exacerbated by the characteristics of the Japanese circuit.
"Today’s sessions, especially FP2, were a sort of qualifying. Unfortunately, in my final attempts I went long and lost time, but that is not what concerns me. Instead, I am still struggling to control the bike. Behaviour is not stable and that comes out particularly on a circuit like this one. We already have a few ideas of what to try, so I hope we are able to solve the problem."