"Besides the position, I am happy about the feeling with the bike. We changed the setup quite a bit and I was back to having the same, good sensations as I had at the beginning of the season. If I'm honest, I didn’t expect it, since here in Brno we have always struggled a lot. Starting from the second row will certainly help, but I am especially pleased with our race pace and the step forward that we have made. Now we need to confirm our potential in the race. That will be the real proof of our growth. I expect a very difficult race for everyone. Tyre wear will be the key, especially after the mid-race point."
The good signs seen yesterday were confirmed during today’s sessions in Brno (Czech Republic). Aleix started the day off confirming direct access to the second qualifying session (Q2) with a sixth-place time. Once there, he made no mistakes, turning two incredible laps, the fastest of which in 1'56.074 to earn the fourth spot on the starting grid. The second-row spot is the perfect birthday present for Romano Albesiano, Technical Director of Aprilia Racing, who, along with his team, provided Aleix with a revamped and competitive bike, in spite of the fact that it is still a fledgling project and not fully developed, confirming great potential on which to build the 2020 season.
It was a more complicated day for Bradley Smith, especially when it came to squeezing as much as possible from his bike in qualifying. The Q1 session was conditioned by a crash in the early stages, but without physical consequences for the rider. Bradley managed to get back on the track and stop the clock at a time that places him in the seventh row on the grid.
"I'm obviously a bit disappointed. At the beginning of Q1, I was in a good position to do a fast lap, but unfortunately, I went beyond the limit and I crashed. Looking at FP4, on the other hand, our race pace doesn’t seem to be too far off of our goals. We have a few ideas to improve, also in view of the upcoming races. The direction Aleix has identified seems to by paying off in terms of performance. Maybe for my characteristics, the bike becomes a bit more difficult to ride, but the times don’t lie, so we’ll try to explore that direction in terms of the setup. In any case, today was a great result for the team and for this project, which is confirming that it has great potential."