The Frenchman prevailed in a session led by the Spaniard, who achieved sixth place after suffering a very hard fall in the last free practice
With less than 25 minutes to go in the last free practice of MotoGP at the British Grand Prix, the Aprilia threw Aleix Espargaró into the air while traveling at 186km/h. The Spanish driver, second in the World Championship and one of the favorites for the race, hit the asphalt violently, hitting his right foot.
The track marshals took the pilot out on a stretcher, although shortly afterwards he could already be seen resting his leg on the ground. Espargaró got on a scooter and went straight to the medical center of the Silverstone circuit, where after checking him, it was ruled out that he suffered major injuries. And from there he went straight to his box to, despite the pain and the visible limp, try to save the ballot in an official in which he intended to fight for pole.
After his first attempt, Espargaró signed the twelfth and last time. In the second and final race, clenching his teeth, he placed first being the first rider to go down with a motorcycle of one minute and fifty-eight seconds on the British track, improving the record held by Marc Márquez since 2019. Although this was not enough to giving him pole position, on a day in which he flew again, did help him save a difficult moment, especially seeing that his rival, the leader Fabio Quartararo, did not go beyond fourth place, with Pecco Bagnaia, winner in Assen , placed between them two. Ahead, Johann Zarco, who set the record and took pole, Maverick Viñales, Espargaró’s teammate, who now seems to have arrived to stay (or return) to the front positions, and Jack Miller.
“The best way to help him is to stay ahead, and I think it’s also the best way to help Aprilia”, Viñales explained about what he can do in the race to give his teammate a cable, whose brand preferred to leave his participation in the race in doubt. test until you see how it rises. “We haven’t talked about anything in this regard. It’s a question of being in a position where I can maybe help him, but in my mind what I have right now is to try to get into the top positions as quickly as possible. In MotoGP right now the first ten laps are decisive and I want to be there, fighting. And, of course, if I have the opportunity to help you, I will. I am very focused on my work in these last races and we are going faster and faster », he added.
And it is that team work is one of the factors that Aprilia wants to play with to try to fight for the title against Quartararo, who will have the handicap of having to serve a long lap penalty at Silverstone. “Some people believe that we lose eight tenths, but we lose much more,” analyzed the Frenchman in reference to a comment by Espargaró in which he precisely valued at that time the possible loss due to the sanction, something that seemed ridiculous to him.
«I prefer to go a little slower and not take excessive risks than to push myself to the limit and risk a crash or having to do another long lap. One or two tenths are not going to change my life with 20 laps ahead”, pointed out the leader of the World Cup, one of the favorites to victory given the pace of training (since he was already the winner in England in 2021), something in which also showed a great level the author of the pole, Zarco, who despite not being included in the fight for the championship is now third overall, 58 points behind his compatriot.
Spanish Pole in Moto2
The one who appears as the clearest favorite in Moto2 is Augusto Fernández, who corroborated this extreme with his first pole of the season, in what is perhaps his best sporting moment: he arrives after having won the last two races, which allowed him to tie points with the leader of the general, Celestino Vietti, fifth on the grid and waiting to serve, like Quartararo, a long lap penalty. The third in the World Cup, Ai Ogura, one point behind Fernández and Vietti, will start third.
It will be more complicated for the leader of Moto3, Sergio García, with many doubts throughout the weekend and who could only get eleventh place on the grid, while his main rival, Izan Guevara (is three points away) signed a very good second to extend his streak of six consecutive podiums and try to reach the leadership of the small displacement.