The South American Rio Hondo round left a bitter taste in the mouth for the Aprilia camp. Aleix Espargaró ended up in the gravel, running over an unlucky Dovizioso, whereas Lowes was forced to withdraw. It could not have gone any worse. And so, in America they will try to look forward, leaving behind the disappointment of what happened two weeks ago.
For the Manufacturer from Noale, Austin will be a test bench where they do not want to make any mistakes: “The COTA is a rather complete circuit – Romano Albesiano commented – There is a demanding flowing part where the chassis architecture needs to be dialled in perfectly and a long straight starting from low speed that puts the anti-wheelie control to a hard test.”
As the third round approaches, some surprises will not be lacking: “From a technical point of view, we have a few new items in terms of engine intake management –Albesiano revealed – so I expect that we will be able to improve performance. As for everything else, we will work as we did in the first two race weekends – he added – focusing both on pace and on performance for qualifying and the first few laps of the race."
In 2016 in Texas, Aleix Espargaró was the protagonist of a performance that placed him in the top five: “I have a lot of faith in my bike and in the team – the Spaniard said – plus I like this place and the circuit, so I am keen to begin the weekend the right way and finish the race on Sunday with the best possible result.”
The crash in Argentina is a distant memory by now: “With the crash in Argentina, we missed a good opportunity to finish in the top-5 – he maintains – Now we will work hard to continue our positive trend.”
And of course, we cannot forget about Sam Lowes. Indeed, because the COTA is one of his favourite tracks: “I won my first race here and I finished second last year – he remembers – I feel like I took a positive step in Argentina in terms of the feeling on the bike and I want to keep that going this weekend too. Let's just hope that the weather is stable so we can work well in every practice session.”