Maverick Viñales mounts an #AmericasGP comeback to finish 4th, DNF for Aleix Espargaro
In observance of the “glass half full” philosophy, Aprilia is leaving COTA with one certainty: the 2023 RS-GP and its riders have broken the curse of the Texan track. At least in terms of pace, demonstrated both in practice and in the race, decidedly superior to what they actually took home at the finish line.
After a bad start, Maverick redeemed himself with another great comeback ride after the one he did on Saturday in the 10 laps of the Sprint Race, finishing the GP at the foot of the podium. And all this was riding for the entire race without the right side of his front winglet.
Aleix was repeating the script from yesterday with a good start from the second row with sights set on the podium. However, this result went up in smoke seconds later due to a crash (harmless for the rider) on turn 12.
It was also an outstanding performance for returning rider Miguel Olivera who, with the Team RNF Aprilia RS-GP, finished fifth.
I’m extremely pleased. It was a super-fast race and I lapped consistently well, recovering a lot of positions. However, we’ll need to improve the start because there is no doubt that if we’re able to stay at the front in the early stages of the race, our results would be even better! We have the speed and that is highly important. I feel very strong with this bike even when I have to battle in duels with other riders, so much that today I managed to overtake a lot and to be effective even in braking despite missing the right part of the winglet. We are faster than I expected. After three races, we are in a good position in the standings and we’re heading to Jerez with confidence.
If the crash had happened on a different track, I won’t say that I would have been less angry, but it clearly would have been special for me to take a spot on the podium here that was well within our potential. After all the difficulties that we have always found at COTA, this weekend I demonstrated surprising potential. This season start has been disappointing, especially because I’m certain that I’m riding better than last year, but for one reason or another, we are not taking home the results we deserve. Hopefully, we’ll reverse this trend as early as Jerez because our potential is clear.