"I'm pleased that I finished the race after what happened in Jerez, although I can’t be entirely happy. Unfortunately, we were not as incisive in the race as we were in qualifying. I didn’t have the pace to stay with the best. However, on one side, we stayed in the top 10 on a track where we struggle historically, and this can be the real ground zero for the start of our season. We need to work especially on acceleration and on speed in mid-turn, although on the latter aspect maybe the two crashes in Jerez had an impact, convincing me to take fewer risks. In any case, I want to see the glass as half full, so we are staying positive and focused. We know our limits and we need to give it our all to solve the problems."
DIFFICULT RACE FOR BRADLEY WITH POOR GRIP
In the Brno race, Aleix Espargaró took great advantage of his fourth spot on the grid, starting well and taking the Aprilia RS-GP into the leading group straight away. In an extremely complicated race, the Spanish rider managed the situation, limiting the damage caused by tyre wear and not taking any pointless risks. The goal was to finish the race, earning the first points of the season; mission accomplished with a tenth-place finish when the chequered flag came out, about 8 seconds behind the podium. This is a “ground zero” spot for Aleix and his team to build on for the rest of the season.
Bradley Smith, on the other hand, battled with a lack of grip - a circumstance similar to what had happened in Jerez, but aggravated by the characteristics of the Portuguese track. This was all in spite of a good start, where Bradley managed to stay with the group of riders battling in the points zone, but having to rethink his ambitions after a few laps.
"The start and the early stages of the race were good and it was definitely nice to see Aleix so far out front. Unfortunately, my pace got worse after a few laps. Similar to what happened in Jerez, I started battling with rear grip early on. In any case, finishing the race lets us gather more important data to help our project grow. It seems like we’ll have some new features to test from the next race, and that is very important."