Aleix Espargaro's high hopes for the new Aprilia RS-GP were sorely dashed during the Spanish MotoGP season-opener, but he now gets a 'second chance' to fight for a 'top 6-top 8' on the same Jerez circuit this weekend.

An unexpected chattering issue cost Espargaro set-up time in Friday practice, while the precautionary lowering of the maximum RPM for the opening weekend didn't help his qualifying hopes.

Lining-up 16th on the grid but still confident of threatening the top ten, Espargaro instead crashed out early in the race.

"I'm very happy to be able to race on the same track again. It's not normal that we have this second chance," Espargaro said on Thursday.

"We still have to improve the bike a lot to fight with the best on the grid, but at the same time I'm sure that we didn't show the potential of the bike that we have right now due to many things.

"We lost Friday and then in the race I felt better but crashed immediately trying to recover. So I've been very angry these last three days!

"I lost a good opportunity to see how I was with the others in the race because it's the best moment to compare with the other bikes. Also for the engine. I lost the opportunity to do a complete race.

"I truly believe I can be a lot faster than last weekend. We had many problems and couldn’t show our potential.

"I'm very happy to be able to show what I feel we can do and put the bike in the top 6, top 8 which I think is quite realistic at this track.

"Now I have to prove it and I can't wait for FP1. I'll be first out on track!"

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Espargaro revealed that Aprilia engineers had felt confident enough to raise the engine revs for race day and that level will now be the starting point for this weekend.

"For the warm-up we raised a little bit the revs of the engine and the idea is to start this weekend like we finished on Sunday," he said.

But even then, "we are still far from the full potential of this engine. This engine can rev a lot more and the potential of the engine is quite a lot higher than we will show this weekend. But unfortunately we cannot yet, so step-by-step.

"The first weekend has been not bad in terms of reliability so let's try again this weekend, trying to push a little bit more the engine and see what's going on."

Espargaro also explained the root cause of Friday's chatter (vibration) issue, which stems from the revised weight balance and new 90-degree V angle allowing for more engine braking.

"We are able to increase the engine brake quite a lot. Not just because of the engine but because of the weight balance of the bike," Espargaro said. "Last year we had a couple of problems with this because in many places we had not enough weight on the rear, so as soon as we increased the engine brake the rear tyre was locking because it was not being pushed into the ground enough.

"With the new bike this didn't happen anymore, but the problem we have now is we have some small problems with the clutch.

"Last weekend we tried to keep increasing the engine brake but we had to change the clutch and when we changed the clutch, the chattering appears. So we are still working with the clutch, engine brake. It's not an easy combination.

"We are anyway using more engine brake than last season but I still believe we can go a lot further and it will help me to turn because it's very important. And I feel the weight balance is much better than 2019. Let's see if we can find a solution regarding the clutch and we can keep improving the engine brake."

Team-mate Bradley Smith finished the season-opening race in 15th and last.