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MotoGP Argentina: Espargaro, Vinales warn rivals of more to come from Aprilia

Maverick Vinales

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales are confident of finding another step forward in performance ahead of a crucial qualifying session to set the grid for the Argentinian MotoGP Sprint Race and the main GP at Termas de Rio Hondo.

The factory Aprilia Racing duo held command at the head of the timesheets during both Friday Practice sessions with Espargaro’s P2 topping effort giving him the edge over team-mate Vinales by just over a tenth.

Aprilia’s double 1-2 lockout on Friday comes a year on from the manufacturer’s long awaited maiden victory in the MotoGP era courtesy of Espargaro. The GP veteran prevailed in a nervy race-long battle with Jorge Martin to take an emotional first success for himself too at his 199th attempt.


With the memories of 2022 still fresh in his mind, Espargaro was upbeat that there will be more to come as the weekend progresses.

“Even though, before arriving here, everyone said we’d be fast like we were last year, I was still convinced that we’d have to demonstrate that on the track. 

“The risk was that we might have gotten ahead of ourselves and that has happened to me in the past, so I tried to find my pace little by little today. 

“Evidently it worked. I lapped at a good pace and, when it came time to find the speed for a flying lap, I did it.”

While Espargaro is once more establishing himself as a hot tip for victory this weekend, his biggest rival could well come from within as Vinales - fresh from his run to second place in Portimao - supplements speed with greater consistency.

“A decidedly positive day,” the nine-time MotoGP race winner said. “We still need to improve our pace a bit, but overall I’m satisfied. 

“I’m confident because our pace already seems to be good and knowing that we still have margin for improvement is a good feeling. 

“Now we need to sit down and calmly analyse all the data we gathered today. I can’t wait to get back out on the track to see what we’ll be able to accomplish tomorrow.”

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