Seventh in the combined German MotoGP free practice times, Aleix Espargaro believes finding one tenth can see him fight for the podium on Sunday. 

Espargaro and Aprilia have been one of the 2021 MotoGP season’s most consistent packages, but one that is still searching for their first rostrum together. 

And while Espargaro’s seventh place finish during Friday free practice ‘hasn’t been brilliant’, the Spaniard is definitely in the mix. 

"My finishing position of FP1 and FP2 hasn’t been brilliant, but it was one of the best Friday’s sincerely. I felt very strong; with the soft tyre I couldn’t put everything together, but if I drop to 1’22.0 I’m in the top three," said Espargaro. 

"With the race tyre I feel strong. I think I have a good bike especially in sector three and four, I’m very strong. But in the omega, especially the omega (kurve), and the next left corner I lose a lot of time. 

"The bike is good on the brakes so the traction is not bad, but in mid corner we are missing some turning. 

"We are working on it and trying to change the balance, but this has always been the weakness point of the Aprilia; that turning when the bike is neutral, let's say. 

"We are working to improve it because if we can drop one tenth on the omega and next left corner, we are going to be able to fight for the podium." 

Aprilia's bigger wings aboard the 2021 RS-GP machine has been a big reason for the bike’s improvements, which Espargaro feels is especially having a big effect here in Germany. 

Espargaro added: "Yeah, actually now I just finished my technical meeting with all the engineers and more or less my lap time has been very similar from my best lap time on qualifying in 2019. But especially the downhill I improved a lot. 

"The speed is higher than in the past - actually we arrived at the fifth and sixth limiter on the revs. So the downforce we have on the bike allows you to throw the bike more on the downhill and you can feel the difference in this circuit."