Viñales and Espargaro take home important points with 6th and 9th in #AustrianGP, Savadori 19th
It promised to be a demanding weekend for Aprilia with the contribution of a track that is historically unfavourable, and the Sunday race at least partially confirmed this trend. There were signs of improvement, thanks to the hard work in the garage and in developing the new RS-GP. Maverick’s second place in qualifying, his frenzied pace in the Sprint Race, and the shrewd race for both riders today.
Maverick built his race lap after lap, maintaining a good pace and arriving at the point of threatening for fifth. Once again today, a less-than-perfect start made things difficult, thrusting him into the first-corner chaos where he lost some positions (blamelessly this time as well). Under the chequered flag, the Spaniard finished sixth.
Aleix is satisfied, praising the set-up improvements on his Aprilia in his overall assessment of the weekend, as well as his teammate’s performance. In the race, he had to manage wear on the rear tyre, particularly stressed in Austria, and he was unable to do better than ninth.
The start today was better than in the Sprint Race, but it wasn’t enough to maintain my position on the grid and I consequently lost more ground in the melee on the first corner. I squeezed the maximum from the bike for the entire race, making up ground and overtaking several times, but then I couldn’t close the gap behind the riders battling for the podium any further, which was already more than 2 seconds at that point. Right now, our priority is to improve the start. We have the potential to battle at the top and some circuits that are more favourable to us are coming up, so we need to be ready to seize every opportunity.
It was an extremely demanding race physically. It was very hot and at the beginning I pushed as hard as I could to try and stay with the leading group. Then my performance dropped because I began to feel a drop in the rear tyre and I also had to manage fuel consumption. In any case, I’m fairly satisfied. Throughout the weekend, our performance improved and at the end of the day, I wasn’t too far behind Maverick, who rode at an extremely high level here. We knew that this track doesn’t suit our bike and particularly my riding style, but we took home some good points in the end. We’ll keep working, as always, to improve.
I started rather cautiously in order to save my tyre and be able to make up ground in the second half of the race. Unfortunately, while I was keeping up with the group battling for points, I also had to manage fuel consumption, which limited my performance a bit. In any case, we were able to move forward with our scheduled testing programme and that is the most important thing.