Aleix Espargaró rushes his ballots to win the MotoGP title. The Aprilia rider arrives at the Malaysian Grand Prix 27 points behind Pecco Bagnaia, and with only 50 to go. His second half of the season, much more discreet than the first, has relegated him to third place overall, and his hopes could be definitely dashed this Sunday.
“The objective is to stop Pecco’s feet,” Espargaró said at Thursday’s press conference, although he acknowledged that “it will be difficult.” “His level in the second half of the season is still very high. We have more to gain than to lose,” he assured.
Sepang could, a priori , benefit the RS-GP, which has already shown to go well in the February tests, although Aleix is not confident: “In the preseason we were very fast, both in terms of the lap thrown and the pace, but from February until now everyone has improved a lot. In any case, I think the bike will go well on this circuit, and we will have data that we didn’t have in Japan or Australia.”
That last note is, according to Granollers, the reason behind the disappointing Asian tour so far. “In the races where we didn’t have data, we wasted a lot of time on basic things like adjusting the gears. The data from 2019 was useless.”
“We have lost a lot of points, but if we are able to learn from that and change the way we work at the new circuits, I think we will be quicker next year,” he predicted.
The #41 also had to give explanations for his statements in Australia, where he poured harsh criticism on Aprilia. “I always say what I think, […] so when I have to be critical of the team, I am. I think in the last few races we haven’t been at the level, and we’ve lost a lot of points.”
Although Espargaró is self-critical, and recognized that in Misano or Austria he was “the one who was not up to the level”. “But it’s frustrating to have the speed and be capable and have to deal with problems that shouldn’t have happened. That’s why I say we have room for improvement as a team.”
“Aprilia’s improvements this year are incredible, and I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved. But if you want to win the title you can’t give up 100 points, like we did with Pecco,” he continued.
“I think we have made too many mistakes, in general, and it has been difficult for us to adapt to the new circuits. I did not want to be harsh with my comments, just to point out that we are not at the level of Pecco and Ducati.”
Regardless of what happens on the track, in Malaysia he will celebrate 300 grand prix in the world championship; a figure that, so far, only five names have completed. “I am very happy and proud. I saw the five names in front of me and the truth is that it is incredible,” he declared.
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