Surprised Espargaró confident of gains
20 October 2017 – Aprilia's Aleix Espargaró believes the operation can still improve its pace, after he led the way during Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix, an outcome which surprised the Spaniard.
Espargaró, having been a low-key 12th in the opening session, surged to the front of the pack in the second 45-minute practice in sunny but cool conditions at Phillip Island.
He clocked a time of 1:29.225 to finish just 0.005s clear of Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez, and Aprilia has not yet displayed its full potential, despite logging the headline-grabbing time.
"It is just the first day, but we are clearly doing a great job," he said.
"I am proud to be part of this project and I am sure that the guys in Noale will also be happy with the results we are achieving.
"To be honest, I did not expect it because this morning I didn't have a good feeling.
"The track conditions are rather demanding, as they always are at Phillip Island, but in FP2 I was able to put a good lap together.
"We can improve on pace as the RS-GP still doesn't turn the way I would like it to and I am lacking a bit of feeling on the front.
"Finding a good feeling for the race will be fundamental, as today we saw a lot of crashes and with the rain everything will be even harder."
Espargaró's Aprilia team-mate, Sam Lowes, finished in 20th position, albeit just 1.5s behind the Spaniard, in a closely-contested session.