The first weekend in Andalusia is done and dusted, and now the world championship is about to embark on its second full round of the year, again at Jerez de La Frontera. An opportunity for those riders who struggled last week to make amends and for those who went well to confirm their form. One rider who was unable to show all his potential in the race was certainly Aleix Espargarò, who crashed after a few laps and was forced into a DNF that was difficult to swallow for the entire Aprilia box.
“Racing again at Jerez is an opportunity to compete against yourself and others again - Aleix told us during a media conference - Of course, for the riders who struggled last week it will not be easy to return to this track but for me it means trying to repair last Sunday’s disaster in the race. It's nice to immediately get a second chance on the same track. I know we still have to improve the bike a lot to fight with the best riders on the grid, but at the same time I am confident because last weekend we did not show the Aprilia’s true potential. "
The news of the day is certainly the OK given today to Marquez after Sunday's crash and Tuesday's humerus operation. What do you think of this rapid recovery?
“This is another example of how what we riders are made of and how much we love this sport. It's not just a job for all of us, it's a passion. Marc is very fit and therefore can compensate for the injury with his strength. Not only Marc but also Rins and Crutchlow had big crashes and will try to race. "
Don't you think that you riders need the brakes put on a bit in these cases and saved from yourself?
"Yes I agree. But in the last 5 years the medical part of the championship has improved a lot, Charte and Mir are awesome doctors and have avant-garde technology available. The medical checks we are subjected to are correct and sufficient to ensure that we can all race safely ".
Going back to the track and Aprilia: what will be the key to your weekend?
“The start will be really crucial on Sunday and therefore I will need a good qualifying on Saturday. I can take this bike into the top six and it was a shame to crash during the last race because I had a good pace and I was trying to make up positions ".
What condition is the Aprilia engine in? Are there any hopes for raising the revs again by not keeping it "restricted"?
"During Sunday's warm-up we had slightly raised the engine revs and the idea is to start this weekend with exactly that configuration. Unfortunately, we are still a long way from the real power of this engine but we are moving forward step by step ".
What about engine braking, instead? We know that Romano Albesiano is focusing heavily on this particular aspect to improve performance.
"This year we have been able to improve the engine braking, not only thanks to the engine but also thanks to the balance of the bike. On many tracks in 2019 we did not have enough weight at the rear and the tyres were immediately affected. With the new bike we have some small problems with the clutch and vibrations. We are improving a lot but we can go deeper into this aspect and find the solutions we need."
What were these days when you were 'forced' to be in Jerez like?
“I came to the circuit every day because my mechanics and engineers continued to work. It was a bit boring but I have two friends here and we MotoGP riders are lucky because we have really big motorhomes. I went on the bike in the morning and in the afternoon I relaxed. "