Complicated #MalaysianGP for Aprilia as Viñales finishes in 11th while Espargaro crashes out
The Malaysian Sunday in Sepang did not bring the improvements hoped for in the Aprilia camp, where they had to settle for Maverick’s eleventh-place finish. His race was conditioned primarily by being in the most crowded part of the pack where, between overtaking and tyre management, it is difficult to exploit a pace which, on paper, could have earned better results.
Aleix, on the other hand, fell victim to a crash on turn 9 as he was attempting to close the gap from his twelfth-place position. His generosity encountered a less than perfect feeling with the front end, a recurring sensation throughout the weekend, which the technicians will be working on both in view of Qatar and in terms of developing the 2024 RS-GP.
It wasn’t a fantastic race, but it was what we could do today. By now we have figured out that, if you’re in the middle of the group, you might even have a good pace, but you aren’t able to fully express it. You have to overtake and not let anyone overtake you and manage tyre temperature – all factors that ultimately limit your overall performance. I’m looking at the positive: a race like this allowed us to collect lots of information. Maybe we won’t be able to use it straight away in Qatar, but the Aprilia engineers will certainly have a lot of data to help them in developing the 2024 bike.
A weekend to forget, without a doubt. In the warm-up session, we tried a very different setup on the bike and, to be honest, I was fast but I realised straight away that I was closer to the limit with the front end. The most difficult thing to accept is not so much the crash – these things can happen – but rather the gap we had behind the leaders. When I crashed on turn nine I was twelfth, without the pace to even think about a serious comeback. We need to think about this and find a solution to get back to being competitive.