"The conditions of this track are certainly not the best for us, and we struggled again today. The lack of grip kept me from being incisive. I was able to stay with the other riders, but I wasn’t able to overtake them. Finishing the race was important to be able to provide the engineers with as much data as possible, but these are certainly not the positions I like to battle for."
At the end of a decidedly demanding race, Aleix finished in the points on a circuit - his home circuit - which has not reserved any great satisfaction for him in recent years. After a good start, Bradley Smith battled at the edge of the points zone. It was a benchmark that he missed by just a few tenths, some of which were lost because of having to react to other riders’ crashes.
Both Aprilia riders gained some positions straight away at the start. Espargaró managed tyre wear in the centre of the group, benefiting from a few DNFs to finish twelfth, 15 seconds behind the leader.
Bradley battle with Lecuona, Rabat and Bradl for all 24 laps. Toward the end, he had to give in to a lack of traction, finishing just outside the points zone.
"We knew this would be a complicated circuit for us because it highlights one of our weak points, namely traction coming out of turns. The positive aspect is that I battled with good riders and good bikes and, at certain times, I was even able to overtake them. We’re lucky to be staying here for a day of tests and we’ll be able to focus on grip, hopefully finding some solutions that can help us on the upcoming tracks."