"To be honest, I felt much better than in the tests and, despite doing my fast lap in FP1, the most interesting session was FP2. In fact, in the afternoon we worked with the race in mind, using the medium tyre on the rear and with good results. In view of the very tight standings, in FP3 tomorrow everyone will be giving it their all to go straight through to Q2. It will be difficult, but this is a special race for Aprilia. I want to give it a go and at the end of the day today, I'm optimistic."
ANDREA IMPROVES FROM ONE SESSION TO THE NEXT BUT MUST RECKON WITH A BAD SHOULDER AFTER A CRASH IN THE MORNING
The first day of practice at Misano in anticipation of the GP race on Sunday had Aprilia improving with Aleix Espargaró finishing out the day in the top ten.
It is a nice result that came after an outstanding FP1 morning session where Aleix finished with the fifth best time at 1’33.762. Encouraged by this result, Aleix worked mainly thinking about the race in the second session, testing setups and tyres at the same time of day as the race. He did not improve on his times, stopping the clock at 1’34.062, but his position in the combined standings was an encouraging ninth place.
Andrea, on the other hand, managed to improve by more than six tenths from one session to the next, finishing FP2 with a time of 1’34.381, not far from Aleix but outside the top ten. Compromising Andrea’s improved performance was a crash in the morning. The blow to his shoulder, which had already troubled him in the past, kept him from finding the good feeling with his RS-GP that he had demonstrated in the tests last week.
"Undoubtedly a difficult day. I did not find that good feeling I had in the tests ten days ago. We still don’t know if it has to do with the track conditions, but the data clearly shows that we are unable to slow down and accelerate like we should. The crash this morning complicates our weekend, because now I have pain in a shoulder which had already given me problems in past seasons."