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APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI – MotoGP Argentina Friday

FIRST DAY OF TESTS AT TERMAS DE RIO HONDO

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ RIDES HIS APRILIA RS-GP TO THE TOP-10
SAM LOWES INCREASES HIS FEELING WITH THE ARGENTINIAN TRACK

As was widely expected, the first two MotoGP sessions on the Argentinian Termas de Rìo Hondo circuit were characterized by a track in constant evolution, forcing teams and riders to adjust settings and tyre selection quickly.

At the end of the day, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia RS-GP into the Top-10, finishing with the ninth best time (1’40.175) at less than 7 tenths from the top. Significant performance in anticipation of qualifying: if it should rain tomorrow, it would be difficult for everyone to improve their times from today and that would mean going straight through to Q2 for Aleix. As for race pace, on the other hand, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Spanish rider is having a few problems, especially in terms of braking. The less than perfect asphalt conditions are partly to blame for this feeling, but Aleix and his team will be working on it in order to optimize the setup solutions.

Sam Lowes continues improving and, despite the gap (best time 1’42.179), he demonstrated a better feeling in the saddle of his RS-GP. The British rookie tested various tyre solutions and worked on settings and riding style, setting up a programme with particular attention to consistent performance for the race.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’
“The feeling today was strange. I still haven’t found the sensations I had in Qatar, especially when it comes to stopping the bike. I think that as the track improves, things will sort themselves. Right now we are still too close to the limit for me to feel at ease on the bike. In any case, we were able to get into the Top-10 and that is positive, since the weather forecast calls for rain tomorrow and that could make it difficult to improve times in view of qualifying.”

SAM LOWES
“It was difficult to choose the right tyre option at the right time today, because the conditions were changing rather quickly. I feel like I could have shaved off a few tenths, but it isn’t fundamental. At the moment I am happy because I feel much more comfortable on the bike compared with Qatar. We will be able to be more competitive here, especially in terms of race pace. We know that we need to improve without making any mistakes and continuing to build our performance calmly. Trying the RS-GP in the wet would also not be bad. I have never done that but it could be interesting.”