The MotoGP weekend in Austria got off on the right foot for the Aprilia camp. Aleix Espargaró stayed stably in the top ten during FP1, held on a dry track, and only a misunderstanding with Morbidelli, just in the final stages of the session, kept him from improving his time and going straight through to Q2, missing out on it by less than one tenth (69 thousandths, to be precise). In any case, the feeling was promising, including on the few laps turned in the rain during FP2.

Scott Redding confirmed his skills in the wet, setting the second-best time in the second free practice session held in rain conditions. With a dry track, the British rider complained of a certain difficulty braking, mitigated by the latest changes made to his RS-GP, but Scott and his crew will be focusing their efforts on this problem.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’“This morning we started with a completely revamped setup. Yesterday I spent a lot of time with Romano and we decided to change the RS-GP drastically. It was a risk, but I must say that from the first laps, I felt very good on a track that is certainly not our favourite. I was fast, just missing Q2, and even in the 20 minutes lapping in the wet, the sensations were positive. The rain frightened me a bit, given the many crashes last year in Moto2 and Moto3, but I must say that a good job was done and the track was in more than acceptable conditions.”

SCOTT REDDING“Today I was finally able to get through an entire practice session in the rain astride the Aprilia RS-GP. That had not happened yet this year, not even in the tests! Despite it being the first time, I felt at ease straight away. The bike proved to be stable and I had fun riding in the wet. I turned several laps to increase my confidence but without taking any risks, after which I pitted to try a small change on the bike. But when I got back onto the track, it had started raining harder and it had become difficult to ride with so much water. As for FP1 on the dry track, I am rather pleased with how things went. However, I still struggle a bit to get the bike stopped on the braking sections, so tomorrow we’ll work on this aspect in particular.”

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