When all was said and done, with the race severely compromised, Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia scratched the itch of wanting to be the fastest on the track – even faster than the riders battling for the win. But the time of 1’47.885, achieved nine laps from the end, fifth best absolute lap of the race, remains solely as consolation, albeit not insignificant, in a race that was over for Aleix when the red light went off. In fact, at the start his RS-GP made a clear move early that did not have any impact on his performance, but it was enough to expose Aleix to the risk of a penalty which then arrived, forcing the Spaniard to do a ride through and consequently relegating him far from the group and extremely far from the battle for a top ten spot where he had been before.
Back on the track – and before stopping due to running long onto the gravel – Aleix demonstrated that excellent race pace that had fed the hopes of the entire Aprilia Racing Team Gresini throughout the weekend that he might bring home those results that are clearly within his potential. It is not enough to save the weekend, but it is a good start for the next MotoGP race which will be on the Spanish Montmelò circuit next Sunday.
“It is a real pity. For the first time in my career I made a jump start and that is not what we needed. First and foremost I would like to apologize to the team. This is a particularly important race for Aprilia and the RS-GP was working very well. The sensations were the best of the entire season. My pace in the low 48s after the ride through (therefore without particular motivation and without the advantage of any slipstream) shows that we could have battled for important positions. After running off track in the gravel, something wasn’t working right with gear selection, so I made a pit stop. Once again, we showed that we are fast, but we are going home without any points. Now we need to consistently get back into the positions that we deserve.”
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