Monday, April 15

Aleix Espargaró breaks the bank in Argentina

Aleix Espargaró celebrates his pole position in Argentina. / AFP

World Cup 2022

Sergio García and Fermín Aldeguer complete the triplet of Spanish poles after the peculiar qualifying day in Termas de Río Hondo

The Saturday of the Argentine Grand Prix was unique. Two days compressed into one, longer sessions, and with some teams that had had to start working at dawn. Those who were during the two previous days pending the evolution of the plane that was bringing part of the material from Indonesia and that had been stopped by a breakdown in Mombasa, Kenya. These teams and, in fact, the entire championship paddock, pending that the only trip to South America on the calendar was not in vain, an event surrounded by a special atmosphere thanks to the boisterous fans, not only from Argentina, but also from other countries of the continent. Fortunately, and although some of them lacked sleep and had to face an unusually long day, the bikes rolled in Termas de Río Hondo.

He opened Moto3 very early, from a quarter past eight in the morning local time, in a category that left after his official training the third Spanish pole position of the season in the three contested. This time the prize went to Sergio García, who this Sunday will lead a first row in which his partner Izan Guevara will occupy the third place. Moto3 leader Dennis Foggia will start eleventh.

In Moto2 the pole went to another Spaniard, this one a rookie, and the youngest rider in the category: Fermín Aldeguer. The Murcian will thus debut in first place on a grid (the youngest rider to achieve it in Moto2 history), on a Sunday in which he will have Augusto Fernández at his side. The leader Celestino Vietti, the second of the Italians at the head of a general classification, will start from sixth place. The second of three, because it is still Enea Bastianini who commands MotoGP, although in his case the official day in Argentina did not give him a great result. He was forced to go through Q1 and failed to get through to Q2 by 43 thousandths, which will make him start thirteenth, from the fifth row and ahead of Pecco Bagnaia, one of the theoretical favorites for the title and who, at the moment, he has only scored one point in two races. Miguel Oliveira, winner in Indonesia, will do it from 16th place, which shows how difficult it is to understand this MotoGP.

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a unique opportunity

A category that in its official training saw a motorcycle dominate that had never done so before in the MotoGP era: the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaró, a rider who had already achieved two pole positions previously, the first in 2014 in Assen with the Forward Yamaha, and the second in 2015 with the Suzuki in Montmeló. “I am very proud of the work that Aprilia is doing, and that I am doing myself. We are with the best factories in the world. My teammate Maverick is also up front, and this shows how well we are doing, because there is a lot of equality in this MotoGP”, commented the Catalan euphorically, who apparently in the second free practice is the rider with the best pace ahead to the race. This places him before a unique opportunity to win his first race in the World Championship, in any displacement.

“Now we have to do well in the race. I have a good rhythm and I have felt good all weekend. My bike works very well here and now Aprilia can celebrate its first pole position in MotoGP”, he added, once the Italian bike had achieved first place on a grid when the displacement was 500cc, in the last 2000 Grand Prix held in Australia. and from the hand of Irishman Jeremy McWilliams.

Next to Espargaró this Sunday will be Jorge Martín, an expert in the thrown lap and who needs a good result after the two zeros in the first two races of the year. Luca Marini will close the first line. Leading the second, just 46 thousandths from the third, Pol Espargaró stayed, on a day with many anguish in which he first suffered his first fall of the year, and in which he was later forced to go through Q1, competing in the final part of the day with a single bike. Next to him will be this Sunday at Termas de Río Hondo Maverick Viñales with the second of the Aprilia and the world champion Fabio Quartararo. All facing a race that is going to be reached with less work than usual, which always generates unknowns, but with an unexpected favorite at the controls of a motorcycle that is pressing to join the equality that reigns in MotoGP in these moments.

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