Maverick Viñales 8th in #IndianGP Sprint, Aleix Espargaro crashes out
The good start from yesterday, unfortunately did not continue on qualifying and Sprint day. Maverick and Aleix struggled more than expected on the technical and demanding Indian track, both in qualifying and in the Sprint race.
Fortunately, the rainfall did not influence the sessions beyond delaying the start of the Sprint Race, in any case held on basically dry asphalt. In qualifying, the Aprilia riders were unable to do better than the ninth (Maverick) and tenth (Aleix) best times. In the Sprint Race, Aleix lost a lot of ground on the first turn avoiding the crashed bikes and then he crashed out in the finale as he attempted to make up positions. Maverick finished in the points with eighth place – a positive note along with Raùl Fernandez’s top 10 finish – but certainly not in line with his and the team’s ambitions.
We had some difficulties on the braking sections again today. The positive thing is that in the Sprint race we collected a lot of information on how to work in view of tomorrow. During weekends like this one, where we struggle more than expected, the important thing is to stay calm and use the difficulties to grow and learn. By understanding the situation and finding a way to react, we are able to improve.
Let’s be realistic – it was not a good day. Yesterday, the feeling was good, whereas today the others improved more than we did. Less than perfect qualifying meant starting from behind and then on the first turn I had to go wide to get around the crashed bikes, so in my eagerness to make up positions, I crashed. In the long race, I expect to battle at least in the top six. With more laps to race, there is space to exploit our pace better.