Maverick Viñales finishes #IndonesianGP Sprint in 4th place, crash and DNF for Aleix Espargaro
All the elements were there for an Aprilia-coloured Sprint Race. Aleix and Maverick were fast in all the sessions, all the way to brilliant qualifiers where they took the second (Viñales) and third (Espargaró) spots on the starting grid. The thirteen laps today, however, left a bitter taste for the Italian team, fourth in the end with Maverick who had a bold start ahead of the rest, leading the race with confidence in the early stages and then limited by tyre wear. The podium that was just barely missed today is the minimum goal for the race.
Aleix had to make up ground after a less than perfect start – a mission which was anything but impossible, given the pace he had demonstrated up to that point. Just as he was overtaking, the Aprilia rider lost the front end of his RS-GP, involving a blameless Binder in a crash. He apologised straight away to his rival for the mistake and Aleix is now extra motivated to seek redemption tomorrow.
In other cases, I’d be happy with a fourth place, but I can’t be today because we had the potential to win. I started well and I was in complete control, without pushing to the limit. Unfortunately, from mid-race, I had no more grip at the rear. We are still analysing the reasons why and we still don’t have any certain results as to the causes at the moment. I am extremely proud of my team but, also in view of tomorrow’s race, we need to understand what happened and improve. Being unsatisfied today shows our mentality. On my part, I always give one hundred percent, and on the part of the team, they work constantly to achieve the result we know we deserve.
First of all, I want to apologise to Brad. I did not intend for my move to be an aggressive one, but on this track, leaving your line by even just a few centimetres can be lethal. I’m sorry to have compromised his Sprint Race as much as I did my own. Unfortunately, I had to make up for lost ground after a less than optimum start. I had the pace and the confidence to do it, and that is important. I would have been able to continue, but given the gap, it would have been impossible to finish in the points, so I went back to the garage.