Aleix Espargaro has reiterated there were no new parts for him to try at the Misano test or at this weekend’s GP in light of Aprilia Technical Director Romano Albesiano’s comments on Friday.

During FP2 the Italian took umbrage to Dorna pit lane reporter Simon Crafar’s relaying of Espargaro’s words from Thursday, in which the Catalan had said he was “really upset” at the lack of technical development in Noale.

Albesiano told Crafar that there was something akin to a continuous flow of development in the Aprilia garage, and pointed to recent work on the RS-GP’s electronics package, as well as stiffness of the bike as evidence of that.

But Espargaro was almost left speechless when these comments were put to him on Friday afternoon and jokingly implored journalists to “check my bike” for any possible new parts.

“[I have] No answer,” said Espargaro. “I can’t answer the question because I can’t understand. I don’t know what to say. Ask the other rider. Maybe he has the answer. Or check my bike. If you can spot something different let me know as well!”

Despite Espargaro’s frustration at the development situation at Aprilia, he described Friday’s on track action as “one of the best” of 2019.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I would say this is one of the best weekends [of the year] so far. I have no explanation why. I feel much better than the test. In the test I suffered a lot, a lot.

“I couldn’t stay in the 33s for more than a lap and today with the medium – we decided on a strategy because tomorrow is going to be a crazy session in the morning for qualifying so we used the afternoon session to work on the race – tyre that I used at the end I was able to do three consecutive laps in the 33s.

“It’s quite good. This morning with the soft I was quite fast – I finished P5. So overall it’s better than the test and not that bad.”

Espargaro was a fine fifth fastest in FP1 before ending FP2 in eleventh, a much improved place on the previous few weeks of action. But the Catalan was at a loss to explain these improvements.

“It’s different,” he said. “It’s very different. I don’t understand why. But the track looks this morning very slippery. For me I was not able to go fast with the soft in the test.

“This morning I was quite fast so I feel different that in the test. It was a lot hotter during the test so this is probably one of the reasons. We have to wait until tomorrow when there is more rubber on the track. Then we will see. But the times are very fast.

“In the test a lot of riders crashed [at turn 14]. This is another reason I don’t understand. Today were quite fast sessions. In the morning and afternoon and nobody crashed there. It looks like the track is different than the test.”

 

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