Assen: Thursday Team Quotes – 250cc & 125cc

 In Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP


1st Álvaro Bautista 1.40.817 (27 laps):
“To be honest the lap times weren’t particularly quick today. We had a problem at the start of the session and the rear of the bike was sliding around a lot – also the engine wasn’t working as it should be but as the session progressed we ironed things out. I’m still not completely happy with the rear of my Aprilia because it is not gripping and I can’t open the throttle when I want to. So that is mainly what we need to work on tomorrow and I’m convinced we can make big improvements. It’s not bad for the first day but we can’t afford to go to sleep tomorrow. Barberá and myself are a little ahead of the rest but that doesn’t mean anything because the pace will increase tomorrow. In our case we know where we can go faster and that is what we need to do in order for me to have fun on the bike.”

3rd Mike Di Meglio 1.41.472 (25 laps):
“I’m really happy because I felt comfortable throughout the session. It was very windy but our pace was good – not incredibly fast but good enough for the first day and I’m satisfied. It is good to start out like this, to be up there from the first few minutes and to know that we can get better. I hope we can continue with this evolution tomorrow and consolidate our position amongst the top guys. The test at Valencia worked out well for us because now we have the chassis configuration more or less clear, even though we can refine it more on the second day here.”

Aleix Espargaró:
“I’m really glad to be back in the World Championship – after such a long time away I’d almost forgotten what it’s like! It’s incredible how things can change – one minute you are sat at home and then you get a call four days before a Grand Prix from one of the biggest teams in the 250cc class to see if you will ride for them! I just tried to stay focused from the start today and even though the bike felt really small I just tried to get some laps in and get a feel for it. Thankfully the team helped me a lot – they just said get out there and ride until you feel comfortable. I honestly didn’t know where the limit was so I just made sure I wasn’t taking too many risks because the last thing I needed was a crash. At the end of the session Álvaro came past so I latched onto him and managed to get a fantastic lap in. The objective today was to break the ice and get a feel for the Aprilia, which I think we have done and then some!”


1st Julián Simón 1.46.725 (19 laps):
“The truth is that after what happened in Barcelona I really wanted to make a strong start here. I’m happy because even though Assen has never been a circuit that suits my riding style we’ve done a fantastic job today and I felt comfortable throughout the session. We’ve tried a few things with the engine, amongst other things, on the back of the tests we did at Valencia and in the end we found a tyre that we think can work well. First place is always a good result and it has filled me with optimism for the race, so hopefully we can have more good weather tomorrow. The incident at Montmeló left me feeling very highly motivated about this race and all I can think about is winning. I actually think we have a better chance of doing it here than we did in the last race. The team have been really supportive and told me to forget about Montmeló, so I’d love to pay them back with a win on Saturday.”
2nd Sergio Gadea 1.46.925 (21 laps):
“I felt really comfortable during today’s session despite a couple of problems with the front end. I managed to clock a ‘46.9 pretty early on but when I tried to push harder I was losing the front of my Aprilia to the point where at one stage I almost crashed. We put a softer tyre on and that stopped it from moving around so much, which made me feel better. We’ve set a good pace throughout the session and I’m happy because we still have plenty of room to improve. It is positive to start a weekend out like this and obviously providing we don’t have a mechanical setback we can stay up there. Anything can happen in a race but I’ll try and start as near the front as possible and hopefully be able to win! We’ve been consistent so far but now is the time when we need to start winning races.”

4th Bradley Smith 1.47.113 (25 laps):
“It is nice to be competitive from the opening day, especially considering how hard we found it to get on the pace at Montmeló. We needed to make sure that everything was still working okay and today was a good start. I found it difficult to go any faster because it was quite windy out there today but on the other hand the track temperature was high and that helped us do our job. In general the lap times aren’t that fast, probably because of the wind, but I expect we’ll all pick the pace up tomorrow. It was a shame that I ran into a lot of traffic over the last three laps and it prevented me from getting a fast lap in but I’m happy with the job we’ve done. We’ll work on finding a better feeling tomorrow with the front suspension and stiffen it up a little because today I couldn’t brake as hard as I’d like.”

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