Aprilia closes ranks around Aleix

The Thai GP couldn’t have come at a better time for Aleix Espargaró and the people at Aprilia. In just five days they have the opportunity to get rid of the thorn of the bad race in Japan. There, the team’s electronics were left on ECO Lap after the grid formation lap and, when Aleix went out for the warm-up lap prior to the start, his motorcycle did not exceed 5,000 revolutions or 80 per hour. All were long faces in the Noale team after the race, because the fiasco hurts more when it comes from oneself, from a human error. Nevertheless, Anthony Jimenez, who is the technical boss of third overall, 25 points behind Quartararo and seven behind Bagnaia, with 100 at stake, shows that Aprilia closes ranks around its rider and makes it clear that they will believe “until the end”.

All this happens by repeating performances like the one in Argentina: “We are 25 points with 100 at stake, so we have to fight and, as I have always said, to be world champion you have to win races and so far we have won one, in Argentina, and you have to win at least one more and fight for the podium in all the races. We are going to go for all in all”. About what remains, he says: “Thailand is not easy, because it is another circuit stop and golike the one in Japan, so difficult, but not impossible. Phillip Island is not that it is good for us, it is that it is very good. Malaysia is also very good and Valencia is good. You have to fight for the podium in all the races. We are going to believe until the end and it is very good that Thailand is coming so quickly, to take away the bad taste in our mouths”.

Regarding how he was after the Motegi race, he says: “Very bad. As difficult as the Japanese GP was, starting it the way we started it was very hard. On Friday there were only a few practices, on Saturday others were canceled due to rain and we were always fighting, both dry and wet, and placed at the front on the grid, to fight for the leading positions and cut points from the first. The opportunity was enormous, because we could have come out of Japan second in the World Cup and a few points behind first”.

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Regarding the handling of what happened in the Aprilia box, ‘Toni the Belgian’ says that “fate is like this, the circumstances are what they have been and, when a mistake like this occurs, we shouldn’t blame anyone but keep working to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again”. And as for the failure, he explains: “These are failures that don’t have to happen, but sometimes overconfidence leads you to have them. The bike ran out of power due to a programming issue at the time we were on the grid. Sometimes you hit the wrong key and this can happen. Motorcycles have to be reset every time they arrive on the grid, due to consumption and many things. The person who does it is a guy who has done it all his life, who has been here forever. A mechanic can leave a loose nut one day or I can make a mistake in choosing the tire and in Japan what happened happened”.

And about his rider’s reaction: “Aleix did well to give him a hug and we always support him because he is an impeccable person, with more than 30 years in racing, who does his job impeccably, all his life in Aprilia. It’s sad to see Aleix in such a problem. He is the one who was the most screwed up of all. When you are 32 years old fighting for the title, for the first time, you know that this opportunity will not be repeated. It is a year where the rivals are failing a lot and us little. Nobody gives us anything and we are fighting one on one, although with failures like Montmeló. In Assen they took us off the track and in Silverstone we had a pace that no one had, but the crash came in FP4. It’s an analysis that helps us to look at the positive side of things and that of Japan is that we didn’t lose many points with our rivals”.

The Captain He has his people on his side, dedicated to his cause for the remaining four finals, starting with Thailand, where he has not run since 2019 and where Marc Márquez, back on track, has won both times he has run here, on the Buriram circuit. Let’s see who benefits or harms their presence at the top…

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