The leader of the Aprilia Racing factory team, Aleix Espargaro, admitted that finishing the MotoGP race at the Red Bull Ring in 6th position was an objective maximum this time: the Austrian Grand Prix turned out to be a difficult test from the very beginning.
Throughout the race, Alyosha, who still occupies 2nd place in the MotoGP championship, had to work over the limit. It affected not only the failure of the holeshot device’s locking device on its RS-GP and the failure of the start but in general difficulties with the updated configuration of the Red Bull Ring.
“[During the weekend] I’ve tried everything. We moved the center of mass, moved the motor back and forth, and made the motorcycle very low and long. We’ve tried everything, but this bike doesn’t really like apex …” – commented Espargaro on the outcome of the Austrian Grand Prix.
“I braked with all my might, just like an animal, beyond all limits. It’s a miracle that I didn’t make a single mistake! At every turn, I braked later than the late one and made no mistakes. But it was an obvious limit of possibilities this time, so I am proud that I came 6th. I simply could not have done more after losing the positions of Zarco and Marini.”
Aleix also admitted that he was surprised why Ducati Lenovo Team-mates Bagnaia and Miller did not finish 1-2 because Fabio Quartararo separated them in the last laps: “It was a surprise for me… For their bike, the new configuration has only gotten better. And our new chicane didn’t help at all.”
After the finish in Spielberg, the spring of the TOP-3 in the championship shrank a little more: Fabio Quartararo remained the leader of the series, but Bagnaia cut the gap from Espargaro very well – now there are 44 points between 1-3 positions, and only 12 between 2-3.
Aleix feels the approach of Bagnaia but does not panic and hopes to compensate for the loss of points in Aragon: “We initially did not think about fighting for the championship, so we try to stay calm. We will watch from race to race. I know that the ground is gradually slipping away from under my feet… But I’m happy with the way things are going. Even in today’s race. As a racer, I know I couldn’t have done more. That’s why I’m calm. We will aim at Misano! Since there are also a lot of turns, and it is quite narrow, this will not be an easy event for us. We will try to survive it, and save points. But in Aragon, we can strike back at both Ducati and Yamaha!”