Along with the winner, Aprilia is probably also smiling big at the end of the Aragon weekend. The company in Noale in fact placed Aleix Espargarò in 7th place and Andrea Iannone in 11th place, confirming that the RS - GP bodes particularly well at Motorland. Despite this, the Italian team, which travels almost at two-speed, suffers some sore points with a happy Espargarò but an unsatisfied Andrea Iannone, who sees a technical difference between him and his teammate.
"Battling it out doesn't scare me," n.29 said defensively. "I was in a position today to do it, and I did it, even if I struggled towards the end because of my shoulder. I'm not happy because I lose a lot at top speed and acceleration, even compared to my teammate, since the beginning of the year. I gave my best, I went beyond my limit this weekend, suffering from the pain but in silence."
Andrea explains the concept better, dispelling any doubts about his opinion.
"I expect an effort from Aprilia, not so much in terms of pieces but in managing to make the two bikes equally fast. Something we don't have now. Aleix was good, but I made the podium here last year. You need two bikes that perform the same way, in order to grow. I don't understand why, but we have to figure it out."
Andrea (like his partner) celebrated the result, but a bit less, aware of the actual situation. "I'm happy with the team result, but the upcoming tracks will be difficult. We haven't made any progress for now. Today we were up against the track."
On the other side of the garage was a happier Aleix Espargarò, who placed really well in front of his home crowd.
"I didn't start off well," Aleix stated. "And I struggled a bit more with a full tank. But after three or four laps, I started pushing and was able to follow the leading group for several laps. The qualification was important, but doing 25 laps together with the best is much more so. I finished four seconds from the second position, and fighting against the top riders is a lot more fun."
The Spanish rider is happy, but he realizes that not everything went according to plan. "It was important to be consistent today and not make mistakes, in order to fight it out with the best. I sincerely expected to have something more, but I suffered with the front, more than yesterday, especially in the final race, and I still had a great pace. I'm happy. I knew I'd be fast on this track."
What really went well was the start, thanks to Aprilia's special system. "When Romano (ed. Albesiano) presented it last year, I wondered what it was, but now I couldn't start without it. We just need to improve the starting mechanism that, at the moment, is a bit difficult for the rider. I have more keys and levers now than an airplane." (ed. he laughed).
However, as was expected, Aragon was a stronghold for Aprilia, and Aleix explains why. "We usually can't give the right weight to the rear when braking hard, and we feel the problem in this circuit is in the first turn, since we're able to make the engine brake work when braking in other situations. My teammate noticed the same thing, so I'm confident about tracks like Sepang."
In closing, n.41 brings everyone back down to earth, confirming that the road is still long. "Actually, we're not where we shouldn't and wouldn't like to be, even though we can say that we're happy now. I hope it'll be like this next year.We could suffer less in Thailand, while Australia and Malaysia can be more suitable circuits for us. It's important to finish the season in the best way possible."