Double podium for Aprilia as Espargaro dominates the #CatalanGP Sprint with Viñales in 3rd
The numbers usually don’t lie, except when it comes to modern MotoGP, because even though the practice session times seemed to foreshadow good potential for Aprilia, you can never rule anything out when it comes to battling in the race.
Aleix’s win came at the end of a fiercely fought Sprint race, where Bagnaia started well from pole position, taking the lead in the early laps. The Aprilia rider overtook first Martin and then his teammate, setting off after the leader, followed by Maverick. During the sixth lap, Aleix pulled the pin. Taking advantage of the RS-GP’s acceleration coming out of the final turn and the power of his V4, he came alongside Bagnaia in the first braking, setting up a clean and decisive overtake. Once out front, the hometown rider’s best pace came out, catapulting him to his first Sprint Race win, finishing with a gap of almost two full seconds.
Maverick finished on the third step of the podium after an outstanding race where he just missed second place (by 51 thousandths) after recovering from near contact with Martin. Ahead of the final stretch, he had an opening to attempt overtaking but, partly due to front tyre wear, Viñales decided not to gamble on any risky manoeuvres.
Today’s result is a historic one for the Italian manufacturer. Never before in MotoGP history had two Aprilias shared the podium.
I wish to dedicate this win to our President, Roberto Colaninno. He would have been proud to see where we’ve taken his bike and it is thanks to his support as well that we are able to celebrate such an important team result. I felt good today. Pecco started very strong – so much that I thought I might just stay behind him and have a go in the finale. However, at a certain point I had the confidence to overtake him and set my own pace. Today’s Sprint Race showed me that the true key to the race is the front tyre. Even today, we had to manage it, so with twice as many laps and higher temperatures tomorrow, it will be difficult
Today’s result is fantastic for all of us. Managing to put two Aprilias on the podium is incredible. I’m happy for all the members of the team and I think it is only right to dedicate it to our President. I’m satisfied with my result even if I wasn’t able to overtake Bagnaia at the end. I tried, but he was very good at defending in braking and I did not want to risk contact. Tomorrow we’ll tackle another demanding race, especially in terms of tyre wear. Already today in the Sprint Race, the front tyre suffered a drop and that may be the element that kept me from being more incisive. In any case, we have a lot of data available to work with now. We know we have the pace to be able to battle for the podium tomorrow too.