On other occasions Aleix Espargaro would have been unable to contain his displeasure. A mechanical issue with a new Aprilia engine had ruined his MotoGP qualifying attempts at Brno and left him 24th on the grid – his worst Saturday showing since 2011.

But Espargaro-the-elder described his mood as “satisfied.” “When the bike stops there is nothing I can do,” reflected the upbeat 28-year old, who felt he had the potential to follow ex-team-mate Maverick Viñales into the afternoon Q2 qualifying shootout.

“Actually I’m quite satisfied,” said Esaprgaro. “I mean, I like to talk always about one package: me and the bike. But I cannot talk anymore about one package because I try to be fit, to do my job as maximum as I can, try to be professional but when the bike stops there is nothing I can do.

“I will try to not be angry anymore, try to be positive, try to have fun. Yesterday I knew with the new engine I could go a lot faster. Immediately I started with the hard tyre I dropped one second on the first lap and then I put a 1m 55.8s, which is very fast on this track. I missed by half a tenth the Q2. So I was satisfied.

“In the qualifying I had a problem in my first run and in the second. I was behind Maverick with the red helmet. I was very fast. I’m pretty sure I could have followed him for the whole lap, but the bike stopped in sector two. Nothing I can do.”

Aprilia decided to fit Espargaro’s #1 RS-GP with a new engine on Saturday morning and the improvement was immediate.

“The new engine is just a fresh engine,” he said. “It’s not a different spec. We are trying to play tetris to have the new engine for the important moments of the season. We knew that Brno was one of the most demanding tracks so we put in the new engine this morning.

“The acceleration is a big, big, big difference. When the engines arrive to 1000kms it is a bit more difficult, but I think for us it’s maybe a little bit more. This morning the engine was super fast.

“Following them in the straights and the uphill the bike revs a lot more. The time talked. I was a lot faster than yesterday. I’m praying that I can use that engine for tomorrow.

“The other engine is quite old. In FP4 I used the second bike and the difference was quite high. I don’t know what is going on. I hope that we can use that engine for tomorrow.”

The Catalan also revealed his physical condition was much improved on Saturday, after he spent the first day of free practice fighting the effects of a painful injury sustained in warm-up for the German Grand Prix three weeks ago.

“I feel slightly better. Obviously the pain is still there but sincerely the pain is better than yesterday. I managed to sleep eleven hours last night. Today I’m much better, with more energy and less pain. I feel great. This morning immediately I was faster.”

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