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Category: Superbikes


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    #DutchGP qualifying. It has surely been quite a challenging second day of action for Team Gresini MotoGP who achieves very little in this Dutch Saturday at the TT Circuit Assen. Fabio Di Giannantonio and Enea Bastianini had a crash apiece in the morning (the former at turn five, the latter at turn seven), a sign that thing were not going in the right direction.
    The afternoon session was not any better, with both riders seeing their qualifying effort ending in Q1. Di Giannantonio was fifth quickest in that session and will complete row five tomorrow (15th place). Behind him, Bastianini, whose key session was also made even more complicated by an issue on his Desmosedici – which he had to abandon straight after leaving pit-lane.
    Two comebacks are needed tomorrow from 14:00 local time (GMT +2) as the lights will go off for a crucial Dutch race before the summer break.
    15th - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49 (1’32.912s)
    “I’m not happy. This morning we had to solve an issue and we stayed in the pit-box more than we needed. We didn’t have time to use the soft front tyre in the second time attack otherwise I think Q2 would have been within our reach. We made some adjustments in the afternoon but they didn’t work. Honestly I was hoping to start the race a lot closer to the front of the grid and now the warm up will be crucial to understand if we can be competitive or not.”
    16th - ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (1’33.005s)
    “I’m a bit disappointed because we started FP4 on the right foot. I was confident ahead of qualifying, but an issue on the first bike kind of complicated plans a bit. The feeling with bike number two was not the same so I couldn’t perform the way I wanted. Unfortunately this is a negative period but we need to get out of it, and the only way to do so is by continuing to work hard. We need a good warm up and try to be consistent in the race: the top ten is the least we should achieve.”

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    Following the most predictable script, the first day of practice in Assen alternated almost perfectly between a wet and dry track. The FP1 sessions were held in full wet conditions, whereas the situation improved gradually in the afternoon all the way down to a finale with good times on basically dry asphalt.

    In all the conditions, both with the rain in the morning and on the dry track in the latter part of the FP2 session, Aleix and Maverick confirmed their outstanding form, taking their Aprilia RS-GP machines into the provisional top 10. Espargaró’s second place time and Maverick’s seventh represent an excellent starting point to build a solid weekend.

    In Assen, Aprilia Racing will also have the Test Team on the grid with Lorenzo Savadori in the saddle as he continues developing upgrades even in view of 2023 on an RS-GP with quite a few parts under development. Despite the huge job of trials and tests to be accomplished, the Italian rider still managed to shine, doing interesting times in the various stages of the sessions and finishing the day with the twenty-first time.

    "It’s always important to start off strong, so I am satisfied with these first two sessions. Especially in the wet this morning I was fast and I had a good feeling even in conditions which are certainly not my favourite. On the dry track in the afternoon, I was only able to do a few laps at the end of the session, but I still managed to find the rhythm, which actually surprised me a bit. So, we are ready to tackle any situation, although we’re always hoping for the dry, a condition in which you can really have fun here in Assen."

    "We started from the base we had in Sachsenring and we were solid here too, in the top 10 both in the dry and in the wet. I felt really good in FP2 when the track was dry. We obviously still need to improve, but the Aprilia has some important strong points. Even in the best session, we weren’t able to push to the limit because the track wasn’t perfectly dry. It would be nice to be able to do that tomorrow."

    "Not too bad. We’re continuing our work, especially in deciding on new solutions. We put the slicks on very early, using a general setting that was still intended for a damp track, so when the asphalt condition improved gradually, we were unable to push to the limit. In any case, we are following our programme and we’ll keep moving in this direction tomorrow."


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    A fixed presence on the MotoGP calendar since 1949, if we exclude the cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Dutch track of Assen has earned the nickname of Cathedral both for the technical characteristics of the layout and the spectacular nature of the races held here. An important test that comes just before the summer break, a time during which riders and teams will be able to recover their energies and work in preparation for the championship finale.

    For Aleix, the goal is to return to the podium, which has become a pleasant habit in this 2022. A new situation for him and for Aprilia, but one that has matured thanks to the great evolution of the technical package and the extraordinary speed and consistency shown by the rider from Granollers.

    The Sachsenring weekend returned an increasingly solid Viñales in the saddle of the RS-GP. The process of adaptation to the Italian bike continues to proceed smoothly and Maverick is counting on being able to take advantage of a 'friendly' track like the Dutch one to close out this first part of the season in the best possible way.

    Aprilia will appear at the Assen Grand Prix with a full line-up, given the presence on track of test rider Lorenzo Savadori. To whom, as always, will fall the task of continuing the development of the RS-GP.

    "Assen is a mythical circuit, with a spectacular layout. I am a little worried about the weather, which is always an unknown here, for sure we will find lower temperatures than at Sachsenring. Clearly I'd like to find a dry weekend but the important thing will be to arrive at the summer break with a positive ranking and morale situation."

    "The first objective here at Assen will be to continue on the level shown last week. I am convinced that we can be competitive at every track, even more so on a layout that has always suited my riding style. Also the fact that we are racing straight away is something that helps me. We have seen that starting at the front makes life a lot easier in the race, if we can get at least the second row we could really show our potential".

    "For me it is always amazing to be back on track, especially when it is an iconic event like Assen. The technicians have already told me that we'll have a lot of solutions to work on, our objective remains to put miles on the clock and continue to develop the RS-GP. Maybe testing something that can help Aleix and Maverick in the second half of the championship".


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    It was expected to be a battle of nerves and it lived up to expectations. The blazing German asphalt of the Sachsenring hosted a tactical race where the riders had to deal with never before seen conditions for this circuit.

    Constantly battling with grip, Aleix fended off Miller’s attacks throughout the race until a few laps from the end, with nerves of steel on braking sections despite a less than perfect feeling with the front end. The only thing that kept him from yet another well-deserved podium finish was a late braking move on turn one that made him go wide and threw him off his line. Today’s fourth place in no way diminishes Espargaró’s run for the championship, where he is still solidly in second place overall.

    Maverick also rode a brilliant race, starting from the ninth spot on the grid and extremely incisive in the first stage of the race with clean and decisive overtaking and a very fast pace. This was partially due to the choice of the medium tyre on the rear, a solution that Maverick preferred and intended to manage all the way to the chequered flag. Only a technical problem with rear height device on the nineteenth lap halted what had been an outstanding race up to that point for him.

    The collateral damage of this circumstance is that Aprilia lost the lead in the teams championship, but the Italian team has their sights set on taking it back as early as next weekend in Assen.

    "Unfortunately today I had a strange vibration at the front from the first lap which then got progressively worse. At a certain point of the race, I had to slow the pace, changing my riding style and not exploiting the RS-GP’s strong points. It’s a pity because, even though I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Fabio, I definitely had the pace to battle with Zarco. With the way things went, I’m pleased with fourth because in spite of riding badly and without confidence, I was still able to limit the damage. I’m not too worried about the lost points; right now, Fabio’s form in the race is what should be pushing us to find more speed."

    "I had fun today. I started well, coming through the first corner without losing positions, and then I was able to be aggressive, overtaking until catching up with Aleix. At that point, I caught my breath, knowing that the final laps would have been difficult, so I was saving my strength and the tyre. I don’t know if I would have been able to overtake Aleix but, continuing at that pace, I would have tried. It’s a shame about the problem with the height device. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do, so I preferred boxing so I wouldn’t be a danger to other riders. In any case, I’m happy. Our improvement curve is consistent and I feel like I’m close to the turning point of the season."


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    #GermanGP race. The explicit goal was the top ten, and the result was an eighth place. Fabio Di Giannantonio’s season keeps trending upwards: from the incredible performances on the single lap in recent encounters, he now secures a strong result when it matters the most at the Sachsenring.  DIGGIA IMPROVES WITH EIGHTH PLACE, ENEA REACHES 100 POINTS 
    He had a good start, a great pace, a super form and despite the allergy, the #49 showed he can battle near the front. With not even halfway of the season reached, he is back in contention for the Rookie of the Year award, with Bezzecchi only 19 points away now.  
    Enea Bastianini also had a strong performance which led to a top ten finish. Compared to other type of results achieved this year it may not sound much, but it was a really important one after crashes in Mugello and Montmeló. The #23 loses one place in the championship standings as he is now fourth after being overtaken by Zarco – but he still managed to reach the 100-point milestone. 
    8th - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49 (20th in the championship standings – 16 points) 
    “We had a super weekend. We were always quick, and we did set a great lap-time in qualifying. I was feeling good for the race: I started strong and was in control in the first part. In the second half, with the heat and the tyres that were sliding a lot, I lost a few battles. I have must say that this has been thre first race where I could fend off the attacks coming from my opponents, so I say goodbye to Germany with really great feelings.”
    10th - ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (4th in the championship standings – 100 points)
    “I’m only half happy: I didn’t have a great start as the bike did a wheelie. I lost many places, but little by little I was able to recover. I really wanted to bring the bike home and tenth is good confidence-wise. It’s without a doubt a positive Sunday, especially if we consider the absence of Alberto and yesterday’s unlucky qualifying. It has been a difficult weekend, but one on which we have built a good result.”