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Category: Moto GP

  1. Season Finale

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    Matteo Ferrari’s 2020 MotoE campaign draws to a close with a flash of pride in today’s second and final race at Le Mans. Last year’s title winner put together a great comeback from 15th to 5th, which allows him to maintain second place in the standings behind Torres.

    The expectations and hopes at the start of the weekend were very different, but yesterday’s crashed proved to be impossible to recover for the #11 rider of Team Trentino Gresini MotoE, who did a great job today in staying focused and finding what was a great result nevertheless. Ferrari finishes the season with 97 points, the same as Aegerter, but snatches second place thanks to better overall placements during the season.

    A flavourless performance from Alessandro Zaccone who got stuck again in the usual turn one chaotic action and struggled to find pace in such a short race. His season ends with 37 points and the twelfth position in what was his rookie year in the series.


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    The final surprise of weekend at the French Le Mans circuit came just a few minutes before the race start, with a downpour that forced teams and riders to drastically change their plans. So, it was a wet race, with Bradley getting off the grid extremely well at the start and Aleix skilfully avoiding Valentino Rossi’s crash and getting into the top 10.

    First seventh and then ninth, Bradley confirmed his feeling in the wet before falling victim to a violent high side on the ninth lap. Aleix, on the other hand, complained of poor grip, maintaining his pace all the way to the chequered flag, where he finished fourteenth.

    "This was not a race to be pleased about. We know that we struggle with grip at the rear and that becomes particularly clear on a cold and wet track. At the start, I managed to maintain a decent pace after a good start, but when there began to be less water on the track, I simply did not have grip. I was constantly at risk of making a mistake, so at a certain point, I set my sights on finishing the race. Now we’ll think about Aragón, a track that I like a lot. Hopefully we’ll find better conditions there."

    "Unfortunately, our difficulties got the best of us in the race too. We need to work on the electronics, because in conditions like today, we are too close to the limit. I'm very disappointed because when I crashed, I wasn’t pushing. I had found my pace and was already thinking about how to manage the tyres which, with less water on the track, were beginning to overheat. In any case, I am pleased with what I was able to do. I took advantage of every possible opportunity this weekend to best express the potential of the RS-GP."



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    Aleix and Bradley finished in the points in a race which was chaotic, to say the least. During the eighth lap on the Red Bull Ring, an incredible smash up brought out the red flag and forced a second start, for a second race, shortened to 20 laps. Starting from the tenth (Aleix) and fifteenth (Bradley) position on the grid, the two Aprilia riders concluded the Sunday race in the points, respectively in eleventh and fourteenth place.

    This end result does not entirely satisfy Aleix, who felt perfectly at ease after the first start and less incisive in the second. Next week, once again on the Austrian circuit, the team will pick up from the good sensations of the first eight laps.

    Bradley had an outstanding second start, moving into the top ten. The English rider then managed tyre wear with a prudent finale, where he fended off the attacks of his adversaries to finish in the points.

    "I cannot be entirely satisfied. In the first race I felt very good, managing to maintain the pace of the best, but in the second, I did not find the same sensations. I didn’t want to switch to the medium tyre, so I had to use one soft with a few laps on it. Evidently, with a shortened race, our rivals were able to use a bit of extra grip that kept us from battling like we had during the first eight laps. In any case, I gave 100% and I’ll continue to do so. Maybe we just need to use our heads and not our hearts, getting the most out of the technical package."

    "I had two great starts and I am very pleased about that. The second race definitely went better, although towards the end I had to manage tyre wear and fuel a bit and that kept me from holding onto my advantage over Pirro and Márquez. In any case, overall it was a solid weekend, where we took some steps in the right direction, including during the race. It was a pity not to be able to use a new tyre for the second start like other riders did. I wanted to stay with the soft, but I didn’t have any others available. We need to keep working hard because in warm-up, the bike gave me the right feeling. It would be a step forward if we could manage to maintain that feeling in the afternoon with the higher temperatures too."


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    Although the position on the grid after qualifying is not the sensational one from Brno, Aleix Espargaró is optimistic at the end of the Austrian Saturday. On a track that has historically been complicated for Aprilia, the Spanish rider once again confirmed his improved feeling astride the 2020 RS-GP. An in-depth analysis of his performance demonstrates this. In a scenario where the pole position time has worsened compared to 2019, Aleix shaved six tenths off his best time from last season. This is an important and concrete signal even if we shift our attention to an analysis of the race pace.

    Bradley also demonstrated substantial growth in terms of the technical package, which is possibly not as evident because of how young the project is. The constant changes to the setup which, on one hand contribute to increasing the team’s and riders’ knowledge of the new bike, on the other hand, do not make it simple to find the best lap time. These first races should be seen as an "investment", destined to bear fruit in the future.

    "I'm quite satisfied, to be honest. The 2020 RS-GP has confirmed that it is a step ahead here too compared to last year. Let’s not forget that this track is less than ideal for us, so having a good feeling in Austria is very important for me. What race result can we aim for? I don’t see the top 10 as far off - to the contrary. Any worse result would leave a bitter taste in my mouth. The weather conditions will be fundamental, but above all, we will need to stay focused and avoid any mistakes on the important braking sections of this track."

    "It may seem strange, but we’re making progress. We are still in a phase where it is important to work on the balance of the bike, changing the setup often in order to figure out how this new bike will react. It’s a job divided up between Aleix and me. When you do this, doing the best times may become more complicated, but we are building a base for this season and for next year. I am pleased that I have not had any of the chattering problems we were worried about in Brno and here. For tomorrow, the goal is to stay in the group and not push past the limit. Riding in the race alongside the other riders is a fundamental opportunity to grow the 2020 RS-GP."


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    In the Brno race, Aleix Espargaró took great advantage of his fourth spot on the grid, starting well and taking the Aprilia RS-GP into the leading group straight away. In an extremely complicated race, the Spanish rider managed the situation, limiting the damage caused by tyre wear and not taking any pointless risks. The goal was to finish the race, earning the first points of the season; mission accomplished with a tenth-place finish when the chequered flag came out, about 8 seconds behind the podium. This is a “ground zero” spot for Aleix and his team to build on for the rest of the season.

    Bradley Smith, on the other hand, battled with a lack of grip - a circumstance similar to what had happened in Jerez, but aggravated by the characteristics of the Portuguese track. This was all in spite of a good start, where Bradley managed to stay with the group of riders battling in the points zone, but having to rethink his ambitions after a few laps.

    "I'm pleased that I finished the race after what happened in Jerez, although I can’t be entirely happy. Unfortunately, we were not as incisive in the race as we were in qualifying. I didn’t have the pace to stay with the best. However, on one side, we stayed in the top 10 on a track where we struggle historically, and this can be the real ground zero for the start of our season. We need to work especially on acceleration and on speed in mid-turn, although on the latter aspect maybe the two crashes in Jerez had an impact, convincing me to take fewer risks. In any case, I want to see the glass as half full, so we are staying positive and focused. We know our limits and we need to give it our all to solve the problems."

    "The start and the early stages of the race were good and it was definitely nice to see Aleix so far out front. Unfortunately, my pace got worse after a few laps. Similar to what happened in Jerez, I started battling with rear grip early on. In any case, finishing the race lets us gather more important data to help our project grow. It seems like we’ll have some new features to test from the next race, and that is very important."