Espargaro: Aprilia can't be fooled by Aragon result

Aleix Espargaro says his Aprilia MotoGP team is “clever enough” not to be fooled by his surprise sixth-place finish in the Aragon Grand Prix.

Espargaro: Aprilia can't be fooled by Aragon result

Espargaro and Aprilia have endured a tough year, and after placing 13th on the Aragon grid the Spaniard admitted he wanted the season to be over and done with.

But a “super-good start” on Sunday lifted Espargaro up to sixth, and he maintained position to post the best result of Aprilia's season, just nine seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez.

“One of the better days of my career, sincerely,” Espargaro said. “It's just sixth place, but I'm struggling a lot this year, it's difficult to maintain the happiness, to stay motivated.

“I was super-focused, riding in the limit, and I didn't make any mistakes, even in one single corner, so I'm satisfied with myself.”

However, Espargaro – who will remain with Aprilia through at least 2020 – stressed the result did not mean that the team has turned a corner.

He explained that he and new crew chief Pietro Caprara made significant changes to the bike balance, but insisted the RS-GP has remained largely “the same”.

“The bike, sincerely, is not a revolution because it is what it is but I feel a little bit better, I recover a little bit the aggression.

“I think the people around me, the Aprilia engineers, are clever enough to know which is the level of the RS-GP.

“Many riders rode this bike in the past, and the results are there [for all to see]. The only one who is able to be competitive [is me], and even like this I'm struggling a lot a lot, so they know that we have to change a lot and improve a lot the '19 bike.

“But I don't care. I go always full [gas], I always give my 100 percent. I did a super-good race also in Misano, and was just 14th place.

“And here I did the same, but in this track I'm stronger and I put sixth place, but still the bike, they [Aprilia] know it's far.”

Espargaro said he was riding “over the limit” in Aragon to compensate for the time the RS-GP was losing on the straights.

“For example, in the last corner after the back straight I brake later than in qualifying, it was every single lap, risking a lot.

“So we need to improve the engine, because I cannot ride like this every weekend, because I will crash 10 [races] of 18.”

The Spaniard credited Caprara, who replaced Marcus Eschenbacher as Espargaro's crew chief mid-season, with playing a big part in the Aragon result.

Earlier in the weekend Espargaro revealed Antonio Jimenez – who currently works with Xavi Vierge in Moto2 – was in advanced talks to take over in the role in 2019, but also said that he is keen to keep Caprara around in some capacity.

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein

Aleix Espargaro and Pietro Caprara, Aprilia

Aleix Espargaro and Pietro Caprara, Aprilia

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Zarco: "No solution" to Yamaha's bike problems

Previous article

Zarco: "No solution" to Yamaha's bike problems

Next article

Nakagami regrets missing “big opportunity” in Aragon

Nakagami regrets missing “big opportunity” in Aragon
Load comments
How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches Prime

How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches

Forming a ladder all the way from Red Bull Rookies Cup to MotoGP, KTM has created a steady stream of top talents in grand prix racing delivering the Austrian marque with the success expected of the brand. Here's how it has gone about it.

MotoGP
Jul 28, 2021
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021