Motegi.- A human error by Aprilia in the electronics of his motorcycle condemned Aleix Espargaró’s options at the Japanese Grand Prix. The Spanish rider was unable to finish the warm-up lap prior to the start and had to enter the pits to change to his second bike, starting from the pitlane and not being able to recover positions, in the end the Catalan crossed the finish line 16th, staying for the first time this year without adding a single point. The problem came just the day he started on the grid ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia, coinciding with the fact that the Italian crashed and the Frenchman could only finish eighth, a wasted golden opportunity.
The engineers load a map called ‘eco-lap’ to the MotoGP when they leave the box 20 minutes before the race so that they do not exceed 4000 laps and do not consume gasoline. Once on the grid, that map is deleted and the race map is loaded, but the Aprilia engineers forgot to make the change and Aleix went out on the warm-up lap before the race without power.
“There was a problem with the map to avoid wasting fuel on the grid lap and I saw on the warm-up lap that the bike was not working, I tried everything, I pressed all the buttons, I stopped the bike and I restarted, but it’s a map that they (the technicians) have to preload and nothing, I took the second bike, which I hadn’t taken all weekend, it had tires that weren’t the race ones and it didn’t work Even so I rode very fast but on this track it is very difficult to overtake, I lost a lot of time behind Fabio Di Giannantonio who was a second slower than me. I stayed on the track in case there was a red flag or something, but no it was possible to reach the points”, summarized Aleix.
“The problem is that without the map, the bike doesn’t go over 4,000 laps so it doesn’t wear out and they have forgotten to change it,” lamented Aleix.
Within the misfortune, Bagnaia’s zero and Quartararo’s eighth place minimizes the disaster…
“No, no, it’s disastrous, I don’t care about the results of the others, today I could win very calmly with the medium tire and we were almost up there, it would have hurt less if Pecco and Fabio had made the podium,” he added desolate.
“I’m not angry with the team, at the end of the race the electronic came to apologize saying it was his fault and I gave him a hug, these are things that happen. But today we have taken a step too far behind for the championship”.
“I’m weak, dejected, this costs a lot. The Aprilia is not the Ducati, the Aprilia is not the Yamaha or the Honda, I am not Marc Márquez and being where I am has cost me a lot, a lot, and a mistake like that leaves me touched”.
“It’s hard to digest, but now more than ever you have to try to win a race, it’s the only option I have left, now Fabio has a grand prix lead and there are four left, I have to win one of the next races, otherwise it’s impossible “.
“The second bike did not run, it had a very old engine, it also had a soft tire behind it that has never worked for me, I have been one of the few that worked well with the medium, I had a shitty race but just waiting for there was a red flag.
“The bikes were similar, but there were no more tyres, it’s impossible, I went flat out every lap but with the soft rubber it was impossible”, Aleix continually lamented.