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APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI – Austria Friday

LOTS OF RACE PREPARATION WORK STRAIGHT AWAY FOR ALEIX AND ANDREA ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT THE RED BULL RING

Both free practice sessions on Friday at the Red Bull Ring were intense and extremely busy for both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders in anticipation of the Austrian Grand Prix that will be held on Sunday.

After finishing the morning practice sessions just 44 thousandths of a second outside the top 10, Aleix Espargaró closed out the combined standings in seventeenth place with a time of 1’24.865, slightly improving in the afternoon session, but without managing to gain provisional access to Q2. The Spanish rider had good sensations in terms of race pace and tomorrow he will continue working on his RS-GP in order to be incisive over the long distance as he prepares for a race that promises to be a demanding one for the tyres.

Andrea Iannone, who is celebrating his thirtieth birthday today, finished the first day of practice with a time of 1’25.003, not far from Aleix, in eighteenth place.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’
“All told, our pace is not bad. Right now, we are unable to be fast on the single lap because we lose ground in acceleration and we can’t make it all up in braking. The temperatures were very high this afternoon, but the track conditions can change quickly. Tomorrow we will keep working to prepare for the race, assessing the best options in terms of tyres as well, with the goal of being competitive over the long distance.”

ANDREA IANNONE
“I won’t deny that we are encountering some difficulties. Besides the gap, we struggle to maintain a good pace. Since we are at the limit, we need to force a lot and that does not pay off over race distance. In any case, we need to stay focused. The conditions could change and we need to keep improving.”