October 16, 2021

MotoGP Silverstone J3 Debriefing Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia / 3): “I don’t see anyone able to beat Fabio”, etc. (Entirety)

This Sunday, August 29, 2021, Aleix Espargaró answered journalists’ questions from the Silverstone circuit, at the end of day three of the British MotoGP Grand Prix.

We went to listen (via teleconferencing software) to the words of the Spanish rider, who landed his first podium with Aprilia since joining Noale’s troops in 2017.

As usual, we report here the words of Aleix Espargaró without the slightest formatting.

Aleix, how does it feel to be back on the podium after seven years of waiting?

” That been so long! It was really important to finish on the podium this season, but in the end the most important thing is to improve the bike and keep the project growing. This podium owes nothing to the weather conditions, or to the accidents of other pilots. We had already been close to the podium in previous races, but here the fact of achieving our ends is something that gives me extra motivation to continue to improve the bike. I think we are doing a good job, we are closer than ever to the outposts. »

“It is think it’s deserved for me and for Aprilia, because we suffered a lot during these five seasons, especially in my case two years ago, because it was really difficult: The bike was not competitive, I was crashing All the time. Fortunately, things now seem to be moving in a better direction. The future also seems to be smiling on us, so let’s hope we can keep up this pace. »

“It’s deserved for me and Aprilia”

Are you going to aim for more podiums this season, or remain fully focused on the development of the bike?

« Aprilia made great progress since the arrival of Massimo Rivola. The team has made a lot of progress, although there is still a lot to improve. Next year we will be a real factory team, Maverick Viñales will join us, so the future looks bright for us. Of course the season is still long and I want more, and this from the next round in Aragón! »

Let’s talk about Aragón, that’s where you landed your last MotoGP podium before this one, where you got your best result so far with Aprilia, not to mention that you will have improvements. What are your precise expectations for this next round?

” The is clear that Aragón is a track that I appreciate. We are in good shape now, and normally in Aragón the bike is competitive, especially since we will have a brand new engine there. So we will see, knowing that this is not a circuit for Fabio Quartararo [il sourit], the pace should be a little slower! We will try to fight for the podium, but in the end that’s what I say every race weekend. But I really think we’ll be ready to fight for the podium again. »

Do you think your result today sends a message of hope to Maverick Viñales?

” On At the start of the season, if he had been told that he was going to leave Yamaha to join Aprilia, he would no doubt have thought that it was a serious leap backwards. What is certain is that the way his relationship ended with Yamaha is not ideal. But for him it’s not so bad, because if the Aprilia is certainly not at the level of the Yamaha, it is all the same a good bike, and we are in a good dynamic. I think he’ll have fun riding the Aprilia. He will use it from Misano, and he will necessarily have to adapt because it is necessarily something other than the Yamaha, but as I have shown today this bike is on the right track. »

“Maverick will have fun riding the Aprilia”

Do you think that the championship is folded given the performances of Fabio Quartararo?

” According to Me, it’s not a matter of how many points he has, it’s just that he drives better than all the other drivers. He can therefore have fun, drive with his hand, and he can even afford to make mistakes given his lead. But I really don’t think it’s a question of points. He’s faster than all of us here, that’s all. That’s why it will be very easy for him this season to win the title, and I don’t see someone who can beat him in every race to be able to stop him. »

“I don’t see anyone able to beat Fabio”

This is the first time since 1972 that the top 6 has been made up of six different manufacturers. What do you think of this statistic?

” For me it’s incredible. The level of the riders in MotoGP at the moment is the highest I have ever seen. It’s tight for both drivers and manufacturers, and I know that gives the manufacturers a big boost in development, and that’s fantastic. As Fabio explained very well, in the past if you wanted to win you had to drive a Yamaha or a Honda. Now the bikes are always different, but they are also all competitive. The fact that we end up with six different manufacturers is just something crazy. »

You had a rather crazy race, between the fact of riding together with your brother in the lead at the start of the race, and your defense for third place against Jack Miller in the last cables …

” At At the start I immediately felt competitive, and so when I saw Pol in front of me I tried to follow him, and as soon as I realized I had a better pace I tried to pass him. But during my attempt I went too wide and he was able to pass me back. And in the second the bike braked sharply on the return straight, and I’m not sure exactly why. But in the end she started again, but in the meantime I had lost several positions, so I lost any chance of being able to follow Fabio. »

« Ma The race could have been made easier if I had managed to follow it for even five or six laps. Subsequently on the last lap I made a big mistake, as I tried to attack Rins for second place without worrying too much about who was behind me and how far. It was a big mistake because I opened the door in the last chicane. But for the rest I think I drove pretty well: In a smooth and intelligent way. In the end, I had more traction than Jack Miller so I was able to keep my third place, because I had absolutely no intention of dropping the podium. »

Earlier this weekend you said that you think you are one of the three fastest riders in MotoGP. We imagine that your result of the day is likely to support your thesis …

“It is never really said that. What I said was that at the moment I think I’m riding at my best and that indeed makes me one of the three fastest riders in MotoGP right now. Today we did a good job, and I even think we had better speed than third place, but I didn’t have the pace I had during the warm up. »

” With the cool temperatures and the medium tire up front, I didn’t really have the same pace. Besides, on the grid when I saw that Fabio was changing his front tire to put on the soft, I had a lot of doubts. I think in the end I lost a bit of speed with the medium tire. My bike has improved a lot, but it does not yet allow me to aim for victory, but what is certain is that I am in great shape in terms of my riding. »

Did the specifics of Silverstone help you in securing your podium, or should you now be expected to fight for the top 3 every race weekend?

” This what makes me really happy is that our result owes nothing to the weather conditions or someone’s fall. We have broken our teeth a few times on the top 3 this year, so having achieved this goal makes me very happy. At Le Mans, when my engine cut I was in the top 5, same thing in Austria where I was very strong when I had my technical problem. »

« Silverstone is not a separate track for us, and I think if we hadn’t had these two engine problems we would be able to fight for the top 3 not only in the race but also in the championship, because when you look at the general classification we are not that far. »

“Hopefully that we will be able to confirm this result in the next rounds. Our podium today does not mean that we will be able to fight for top 3 in every race, but we are really getting closer to the front lines. I think all MotoGP riders are more or less the same at the moment, with the exception of Fabio who is a cut above all the same. But objectively I don’t see any other riders faster than me at the moment, so let’s hope that I can climb on the podium again in the next rounds. »

“Fabio is a cut above”

You have always been the fastest Aprilia rider since joining the team in 2017. Could you describe what you think makes your riding style so superior to others? Also, can you explain the last step forward that Aprilia has taken to close the gap with the competition in this way?

” A one thing is certain: I have never tried to adapt the bike to my riding style. Over the past five years I have been trying to develop the bike, and I have always made it my way to adapt to it. This is what I have strived to do during these five years, and since the arrival of Massimo Rivola a lot has changed at Noale, whether it is in the way we work, or even in the arrival of new engineers within the team. »

” Nothing is not free in our sport, to achieve its goals you have to invest, and that’s what we did. It is no coincidence that the RS-GP21 is the best in terms of stability. It has a lot more downforce, and we also put a lot of effort into the balance by changing the engine position. A lot has changed in the past two years, and now we can see the results, which come from multiple small improvements made over the years. »

MotoGP – Silverstone – Race Results

Ranking credit: MotoGP.com