Aprilia-Fallback - Aleix Espargaro: "I was losing 18-20 km/h, we are missing traction"
The latter half of the season did not go to plan for Aprilia. Aleix Espargaro has to postpone his shot at winning the championship title and even is at risk to lose third place in the standings as well.
The disappointing performance at the Malaysian Grand Prix put an end to Aprilia’s shot at one of the championship titles.
Espargaro during the Malaysian Grand Prix – Image provided by Motorsport Images
With his tenth-place finish, Aleix Espargaro now sits 46 points behind championship favorite Francesco Bagnaia and trails Fabio Quartararo by 23 points.
Therefore, given the Spaniard wins at the last race of the season in Valencia, second place is still within reach. However, Aprilia should rather be concerned about defending Espargaro’s third place in the standings.
Probably the biggest concern of the Noale manufacturer is that they are yet to find an explanation for their massive drop in performance. Aleix Espargaro describes the current situation at Aprilia:
“In the end, Pecco and Fabio are faster than us, their teams have more experience. I’m sorry to finish the season at this low level, far from our best, and without having an explanation. I am very sad.”
Sounding a bit desperate, the Spaniard goes on about the problems he and his team are currently facing: “Braking is still good, the bike doesn’t turn and, above all, we are missing traction.”
“Our bike was not working at all, I was losing about 18-20 km/h when it was a missile in the first part of the year.“
The older Espargaro brother can only hope for a quick and maybe even surprising solution to Aprilia’s problems knowing that his rival for third place in the standings, Enea Bastianini, is in great shape for the season finale.
“The level is much lower in the last four races, we will analyze everything properly, and do a reset. With a new and light bike, we will be competitive again.”