Aleix Espargaró has brought home Aprilia’s first pole position in MotoGP with a stellar performance at the end of a Saturday to remember for the entire Aprilia Racing team at Termas de Rio Hondo, venue of the Argentinian Grand Prix.
In fact, despite the little time they had available to them, with free practice and qualifiers condensed into just one day, both the RS-GP machines proved to be extremely fast from the first sessions, so much that they monopolized the top two positions – with Maverick Viñales immediately behind his teammate – at the end of the two free practice sessions that decided who would go straight through to Q2.
In the decisive qualifying session, Espargaró first did an outstanding 1’38.108, only to lower that time even further in the finale with an incredible 1’37.688. This performance was extremely close (5 thousandths of a second) to the track record, done on the weekend of his two-hundredth GP in the top class. Viñales’ result was also outstanding in view of the race tomorrow. He found himself immediately at ease in the saddle and fifth overall at the end of the qualifying session with a time of 1’38”196.
#41 Aleix Espargaró: “The word that best describes the way I feel is ‘proud’. I have always said that Aprilia is my second family. There is a particular bond with this project and my heartfelt thanks goes out to all those who are working nonstop, at the track and in Noale, to make these results possible. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t thinking about the pole after seeing our pace during the sessions where I was fast both on the medium and the soft rear tire. It won’t be a simple race. We’ve had less time than usual to prepare, but we’re ready anyway.”
#12 Maverick Viñales: “I’m extremely happy for Aleix and for Aprilia. I think that this was a well-deserved result. The team is working well. I felt at ease immediately despite the low grip on the asphalt. In the race we’ll need to use our heads. I’m not worried because no matter what the final result is, our growth and the step forward we took from Mandalika remain.”
credit: Aprilia Racing and MotoGP
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