Aleix Espargaro drops to 8th following #ThaiGP penalty, DNF for Maverick Viñales
It was a weekend of ups and downs for Aprilia in Thailand. On Friday, Maverick and Aleix had begun the weekend well on a track that is not particularly friendly. Aleix’s third place in qualifying, with Maverick on the third row, seemed to promise an interesting performance.
Where Aleix, both yesterday and today – with two fifth place finishes – was able to limit the damage, finishing not too far behind the leaders, Maverick was forced to retire today during the twenty-fourth lap due to extreme temperature conditions in the saddle.
After the end of the race, Aleix was notified of a 3-second penalty for irregular front tyre pressure which relegated him to eighth place.
Looking at my performance, I am satisfied with what we demonstrated this weekend. On a difficult track, in treacherous conditions, I did not have the pace to battle for the podium, but fifth with a reduced gap behind the winner is not bad. However, I suffered a lot with the heat. In the final laps, I was struggling to breathe and that is unfortunately a problem with our bike.
A weekend of ups and downs. Friday we had apparently reached the bike’s limit because it became increasingly more difficult to improve after that. In the race today, I wasn’t doing badly, but at a certain point I began to lose mental clarity due to the heat. Especially on the straight, when I would lie down on the bike, the sensation of heat was astonishing. At a certain point, the best decision was to stop. Continuing to risk did not make sense. Clearly this is a situation we need to discuss. There will be other races with high temperatures.