While the Aprilia riders were the only ones to resist Ducati’s dominance on Saturday – whether it was Maverick Viñales in the factory team, or Raúl Fernández and Miguel Oliveira in the marque’s new satellite team, RNF – Aleix Espargaró had a much more difficult day in the Portimão tests.
In the morning the Catalan was the victim of a crash at the first corner which caused pain in his left foot, while in the afternoon he suffered from compartment syndrome in his right arm, a common ailment for riders at the start of the season after months away by the physical demands of their bikes, but which Espargaró did not encounter in the Sepang tests and which forced him to interrupt Saturday’s test.
“I’m fine”, reassured the Aprilia rider to the official championship website, before confiding of the difficulties encountered during the day: “It wasn’t a big fall, but I felt a blow on my left foot. The impact was “Pretty strong. I’m quite sore because it’s my ankle where I injured myself at Silverstone, but it’s not a disaster.”
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“In the afternoon I had more problems with my right arm. I had a lot of problems with my arm and I had to stop much earlier than expected because I couldn’t even brake. It’s strange that it happened to me, in Malaysia I had no problems , so I hope tomorrow will be better”.
In this context, the 12th place finish is actually quite encouraging, and Aleix Espargaró is even satisfied with the progress made with the medium tyre, which created problems for him in the Sepang tests: “It was a positive day and at the moment I think I to be the only rider in the top 15 who didn’t use the soft tire at the rear, because I had to stop earlier because I couldn’t ride the bike! The gap isn’t bad.”
“I think I was one of the fastest with the medium tyre, which is positive because I was struggling in Malaysia. We worked a lot during this month to generate more grip on the rear and it worked. I hope to be physically better tomorrow and to be able to fight in front with the soft rubber”.
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