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TWO APRILIAS IN THE TOP TEN FOR THE FIRST TIME, WITHOUT GOING THROUGH Q1

Aprilia continues to grow and maintain consistent performance among the best. For the qualifiers on Saturday in Misano, the Noale-based manufacturer had both riders in Q2 for the first time, thanks to the fifth place (Viñales) and sixth place (Espargaró) obtained in the decisive FP3 session.

In the qualifying session that decided the starting grid order, Espargaró started strong in his first run, finishing with a nice time of 1’31.937. In his second outing with new tyres, when he was going for a time attack, number 41 fell victim to a crash that took him out of the running. Despite the crash, because of his good performance earlier, Aleix was still able to clinch a spot on the third row, missing the second row by just 14 thousandths of a second.

Extremely positive signs arrived from Viñales, in his second race weekend with Aprilia and taking his first steps on the path to improving on the RS-GP. In free practice this morning, he demonstrated an outstanding pace and finished the session with the fifth best time, thereby going straight through to Q2. His tenth-place time in qualifying (1’32.121) places him in the best spot of the fourth row for the race tomorrow.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’
“If it’s true that the 2021 RS-GP is performing well everywhere, this is a track where we have historically struggled a bit more. I don’t have the same feeling as Silverstone and Aragón, but I’m still satisfied with the level we have achieved. The hard front tyre betrayed me in qualifying. I usually feel pretty good on it, but it works in a rather tight temperature range. It only took letting it cool down a couple of degrees to crash. Third row is still a good starting point. I think that, apart from Pecco, there may be a group of riders with a similar pace. Weather permitting!”
MAVERICK VIÑALES
“We worked well again today, focusing on our goal of getting to know the bike and accumulating experience. Maybe just in qualifying I expected to be able to do better, but I obviously still need to understand how to take the RS-GP to the limit on the flying lap. In terms of pace, on the other hand, I had good sensations. I lapped in FP4 with a full tank and used tyres and I think that proper tyre wear management may be an important factor on this track. We’ll work in the warm-up session tomorrow as well, trying some new solutions. Every session is like a test for us.”

TWO APRILIAS IN THE TOP TEN FOR THE FIRST TIME, WITHOUT GOING THROUGH Q1 - Gresini Racing
TWO APRILIAS IN THE TOP TEN FOR THE FIRST TIME, WITHOUT GOING THROUGH Q1 - Gresini Racing

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