Aleix Espargaro's home Spanish MotoGP lasted just five corners before his Aprilia suffered a major technical problem for the third time in this season's four races.

While fuel issues had left him without points in the opening two rounds, before a tenth place at the RS-GP's worst circuit of COTA, a 'loose screw on the pneumatic system' undid his chances at Jerez.

Adding to Espargaro's anguish was that he had the pace to 'easily' fight for the RS-GP's debut podium, in a race that saw Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso eliminated from second, third and fourth.

"It’s difficult to say something," he admitted. "I felt really good in the first five corners. The bike had a lot of grip. Just a few riders in front used the hard front tyre – it was the right decision. It was very good.

"After the disaster at the front [between Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Dovizioso], I think we were able to fight easy for the podium. Easy.

"This morning I did 25 laps with the rear tyre and I managed to stay in the 1m 39s low. I’m sure that I was able to stay in the 39s during the race and the podium guys were lapping in the 40s by lap five.

"I’m not even angry, I’m just disappointed. Four races and three DNFs… I’m a really positive guy but I don’t know how to find more energy to be positive."

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The Spaniard added: "I’m really down because I feel better than ever in my riding. Sincerely I’m not a guy who always speaks about bullshit, but I feel that I’m stronger than ever. I don’t think that many riders are faster than me on track. I just need to have the bike and I feel that I can be in front.

"With Aprilia I feel I can be very competitive, even if we don’t have the best bike. I feel we can fight for the top five, top six every race.

"But we always have some problems with fuel consumption or the bike stops or whatever. It makes my life very, very difficult and I also need to finish races to try to improve a bit more my riding style."

Espargaro has been assured that Aprilia will be taking measures to get on top of the reliability nightmare.

"I know that Aprilia guys are also very upset," he said. "They promised me there is going to be a revolution in Noale this week, to try and find the problem. I believe in them. I really do.

"I feel a personal mission to put the RS-GP on the podium."

Team-mate Scott Redding finished 15th at Jerez and Aprilia have now dropped behind KTM to last in the constructors championship.

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