After the victories at Silverstone and Barcelona, Aleix Espargaro was disappointed at Misano, where he only managed to finish in 12th place, and went into the Asian tour with great enthusiasm and desire to do, convinced that he could have his chance to establish itself as an alternative to Ducati in the fight for the championship.
However, the MotoGP debut in India was a nightmare for the Granollers rider, who also committed one of the worst mistakes of his career by letting his emotions carry him away. He did not score points at the Buddh International Circuit (also due to technical problems), causing his chances in the general classification to collapse.
This Sunday, at Motegi, in hellish conditions, the Aprilia rider demonstrated that he can compete with the best.
“I’m happy with the result, but I had reliability problems,” explained Aleix. “I could have fought for the podium in wet conditions for the first time in my career, so I’m happy,” he added, confident that if the race had restarted, things would have gone his way.
However, the Aprilia rider is convinced that there was no reason to put everyone at risk, given that the conditions were the same as the first interruption. “They were right to show the red flag, even if, from my point of view, they showed it a lap too late,” he said.
Aleix was one of the few riders to have dared to use the soft wet tire when he went to change the bike for the “flag to flag”.
“When it rains in Japan, it usually rains a lot. That’s why I took the risk of fitting the soft wet tyre,” he explained.
Now, after the races in India and Japan, the World Championship has a week’s break which Aleix will use to return home and be with his family.
“I’ve had a bad time in the last two races for different reasons. I need to go home and recharge the batteries. It’s not what happened yesterday with the engine (which broke); it’s my mistake with the team in India. The mistake there and the one here on Saturday”, concluded the Catalan.
Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia Racing Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images