As was expected, the two free practice sessions held today in Barcelona were also used by the riders to work on tyre wear, looking for the best setup on a rather demanding track from this point of view.

In the Aprilia camp, performance was undoubtedly compromised for Aleix and Bradley by two crashes at two different times. Espargaró lost control of his RS-GP during FP3, a session that, in any case, he finished less than 3 tenths from the top 10, which meant that he would have to go through Q1. On the other hand, his crash on the final turn during FP4 forced Smith to use his second bike in qualifying.

The final result placed Aleix on the fifth row of the starting grid and Bradley on the seventh for the race tomorrow.


"Definitely a not an easy day. Today, I gave it all once again to get into the top 10. We are competitive, but we are still lacking a few tenths to battle with the best. Grip is still extremely low. If you push too hard, you end up falling like I did. The crash left me in pain. I’ll need to use my head in the race tomorrow. There are a lot of very fast riders who are behind me on the grid. I think the best strategy is to stay calm in the early laps and try to conserve the tyre as much as possible."


"This morning, things started on the right foot. I had a good feeling and a promising pace. We changed the settings for FP4 but it didn’t work. I crashed with the first bike, so I had to use the version with different engine specs in qualifying. We’ll try to get this morning’s sensations back in warmup. In the race, tyre wear will be a determining factor. As for us, our only choice is to push hard straight away and then we’ll just have to deal with the lack of grip."