Until the last free practice of the weekend Aleix Espargaró had shown himself to be the fastest driver on the track, and before him a great opportunity was opening up due to the long lap penalty that Fabio Quartararo had to pay during the race. However, everything changed when in the first stages of FP4 the Aprilia driver suffered a very strong crash that absolutely conditioned his race.
In the end, Aleix crossed the finish line ninth, conceding, as a lesser evil, only one point to Quartararo, who preceded him under the checkered flag.
“I felt good, honestly. Pain was not an excuse. Obviously, I couldn’t move freely on the bike and help it turn. I was in quite a bit of pain the whole race, all over my body, but it wasn’t unbearable. And it’s a shame because I couldn’t overtake, I couldn’t be aggressive, I couldn’t gain positions during the race. I didn’t finish far from the winner but during the race I didn’t have the pace and it’s a shame I couldn’t fight for the victory”, explained Aleix.
The second place of his teammate Maverick Viñales encourages us to think that, in full conditions, Aleix would have been able to fight for victory.
“Yes, but I don’t like to think about these things. I mean, racing is racing, you have to prove it for every lap. I think I had a better pace and could have fought for the victory, but we have to show that in the race”, he pointed out.
“In today’s race I couldn’t understand anything. If I get the classification, I understand zero of motorcycles. Both Ducatis had no rhythm throughout the weekend and both win. They did an extraordinary job today, I don’t understand where they got the rhythm from. Bezzecchi was very strong, he finished 10th, Fabio was very strong and he finished me, the KTM in the lead group, Bastianini was out of the top 15 on Friday. I really don’t understand what happened today, I had zero traction on the right side. This is MotoGP, it’s beautiful and spectacular. The next eight races, the last part of the championship, are going to be fun.”
Despite everything, on the last lap Aleix had an attempt to overtake Quartararo, something unthinkable seeing how things had gone.
“It was impossible to overtake on the last lap, I was very far from him but I had to try. I released the front brake and went, but unfortunately I knew it was just a point, but it wasn’t a question of points, it was a question of finishing at the front. I tried, but unfortunately today I missed a good opportunity to recover points”, he lamented.
Now Aleix will have a full week to recover before traveling to Austria and fully recovering.
“I hope so. Now I feel pain everywhere. My feet are better than yesterday, I can walk. But I have a lot of pain in my legs, in my neck, in my back. So I will have to rest a lot next week and tomorrow I will go to the Dexeus Clinic [in Barcelona] to do more tests, a complete scan of my body to see if I have nothing broken. But I think that with a week of recovery I will arrive well”, hopes the Catalan.
An appointment the Austrian that can be good for the Aprilias.
“I think this year the Aprilia is doing pretty well everywhere. Almost every race we get a bike on the podium, which is good. For sure Austria is a very good track for Ducati, it’s quite easy for them, they have a very powerful bike and it will be difficult to beat them there. But this championship is very open, you never know when you can win, I hope I can fight for the podium again in Austria”.
Finally, the second in the World Cup considers that the victory of Pecco Bagnaia puts him back in the fight for the championship.
“Exactly, today I think they really took a big step in the championship. It’s not going to be easy because they’re two races behind, but they have a lot of bikes and they can do a lot of teamwork. And now we go to two tracks that are good for Pecco, Austria and Misano, so I think everything is open. I think we will have a very, very tight last eight races in the championship”, settled the man from Granollers.