Espargaro "almost crashed three times" tailing Marquez

Aleix Espargaro says he “almost crashed three times” chasing Aragon Grand Prix poleman Marc Marquez on his way to Aprilia’s first top-five MotoGP grid slot in two years.

Espargaro "almost crashed three times" tailing Marquez

Espargaro tucked in behind Marquez's Honda for his final flying lap, and produced a time of 1m47.733s which put him briefly on the front row in third.

He was quickly shuffled back to fifth, but it still represented his best qualifying effort since the 2017 Japanese GP.

Commenting on the lap, Espargaro says he suffered a lot of front-end chatter chasing Marquez as he was pushing the bike harder than he had all weekend, and almost fell on several occasions as a result.

“I did a lap behind him [Marquez], but I had a lot of chattering at the apex because I really went a lot faster than in other sessions because I followed him,” explained Espargaro.

“And in the apex of the corner, before he touches the throttle, the speed he is taking is incredible.”

He added: “It’s not super difficult to ride like this, but the bike has to allow it and the problem is when I go at that level I had a lot of chattering.

“I didn’t have chattering all weekend, and in my flying lap I almost crashed three times because of the chattering.”

For PRIME users:

Aragon has proven a strong track for Aprilia in recent years, with Espargaro matching the Noale marque’s best MotoGP result of sixth in the previous two editions of the race.

In qualifying, Espargaro’s teammate Andrea Iannone made it into Q2 for the first time this year, marking the first time ever two Aprilias have taken part in the pole shootout session.

When asked why the RS-GP tends to go so well at Aragon, Espargaro believes the lack of hard acceleration points and the fact the bike is leant over when braking at most corners – thus masking the bike’s lack of weight on the rear – plays a big factor.

“Where we suffer most, both Andrea and myself, is stopping the bike in a straightline,” he said.

“But the corners where you have to brake a little bit with lean angle - like almost every corner at Aragon – [we do better], because the rear has a lot of weight [at lean] so we can stop the bike better.

"On the stop phase, yes [the bike has good edge grip]. Every time we stop the bike completely straight [up] we suffer because we have no weight on the rear.

“So the engine braking is not working enough, we have no [ground] contact, so we cannot reduce the speed.

“But every time we brake with 25, 30 degrees lean angle the rear tyre is pushing [into] the ground and we have weight and we can stop the bike. I think this is one of the biggest differences from other tracks.”

Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole
Previous article

Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole

Next article

Lorenzo not tempted to follow Zarco's example

Lorenzo not tempted to follow Zarco's example
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022