Bradley Smith finishes in the points, Aleix Espargaro crashes out on first lap
A crash during the first lap brought Aleix Espargaró’s race to an early end. This is a result that leaves the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini with more than a few regrets because Aleix’s great start, moving into the top ten in just a few turns, the race pace and the final placing of many of the number 41 rider’s direct rivals indicate that a good result was well within reach once again today.
After starting extremely well from the sixth row, Aleix immediately joined the leading group, but he lost the bike on the Quercia turn – turn 8 – also involving a blameless Morbidelli who was on the outside, forcing him off track.
Bradley Smith, on the other hand, rode a prudent race, trying not to lag too far behind the central part of the group and, aided by several crashes ahead of him, finished thirteenth to earn championship points, also bringing race experience and miles home to the very young 2020 RS-GP project.
“The final result is okay, but I’m a bit disappointed with the wide gap behind the leader. The first stage of the race wasn’t bad and I was able to stay with the group. But today we started with an entirely different setting and I didn’t know what to expect, so the last 10 laps were rather difficult. These have been two peculiar weeks for us, with a lot of different sensations. I’ll take the good from the first 16 laps, done at a good pace, and we’ll have to start from them to tackle a vastly different track like Barcelona.”
“First of all, I want to apologise to Morbidelli, because my crash cost him a lot of positions, and to my team, since, considering our performance as compared to the others, we could have finished much better. I knew that I would have to go all-in on the first laps. My pace was very good but, starting from so far back, I had to risk. Difficulty overtaking is our weak point and that makes it hard to recuperate. It’s a pity because I was able to get into the top 10 anyway and I was really feeling good. This crash was not what we needed.”