The first Saturday at Losail for Aprilia with Maverick Viñales and his disappointment, as he failed to enter the Q2, having to console himself with a 19th time ahead of Andrea Dovizioso.
The Spanish rider analyzed the situation.
"Today I thought I'd be ahead with the best,” he admitted. “The reality is that I had a problem at every corner, and I think that was due to how we used the tires, since we didn’t push in the right way. But we used worn tires in the FP4. I was fiine. Let’s see what we’ll do tomorrow."
Maverick has no intention of throwing in the towel ahead of time.
"We have to continue to work, without giving up, considering that this is certainly not the time to start crying about it. In the tests, I struggled with the front, and the problem was amplified here, especially with the new tire. We just have to keep working."
But there are also positive aspects that shouldn’t be underestimated.
"My pace is certainly better than in the flying lap, and I think I can do more in the race. Actually, I didn't expect to suffer so much. We just have to work and try every possible solution, considering that I don’t have that much experience with Aprilia."
Those who are smiling are Aleix Espargarò, star of the fifth half in qualifying, ahead of his brother Pol. The Spanish rider will open the third row tomorrow.
"I'm really happy about this Saturday,” he commented. “I risked a lot today, reaching the limit with the soft tires. But I managed to stay in the top ten, preparing the RS-GP in the best way possible for tomorrow's race. Today the conditions were very complicated, but we were still able to do a great job with the team. Too bad I missed the pole, but the result is great."
He also talked about the tires.
"With the medium, we got important feedback for tomorrow, and I think that’ll be our choice. I see many others with the soft tire. It’s probably a faster tire, but I have many doubts about wear in the final laps."
Aprilia’s glass is undoubtedly half full and the sensations are encouraging.
“I can't believe the level we've reached, and I'm happy. Shortly before qualifying, my body was burning inside. I was really nervous. But we were able to achieve a fantastic result, keeping up with the best."
Now all he has to do is wait for the race.
"Right now, I’m calm and confident, since a great job was done before of the races, especially in the FP4. I couldn't do more. Also, Aprilia is fast on the straight. I expect a fun race, aware of the fact that I don't see many riders faster than us. I was competitive even last year, but I didn’t have the pace of my rivals, since I pushed the rear too much. This time the situation is different, even if the first race is always special. The Honda, as well as the Suzuki and the Ducati, will be strong, but also the Yamaha, even if has problems in the straight. In 2021, the straights were frustrating for me, but now we have power."