Espargaro certain Aprilia will "surprise" in next races

Aleix Espargaro says he is "completely sure" Aprilia will "surprise" in the following MotoGP races, after the Spaniard scored his first points of the season at Austin.

Espargaro retired from both the Qatar and Argentine grands prix due to mechanical problems, and only started the Austin race from 20th after "f***ing up" the setup of his bike.

However, he fought his way up to 10th in the race to score six points.

MotoGP will now move to European tracks, starting with Jerez on May 6, and Espargaro claims Aprilia will be better and "surprise" on those venues.

"It [Jerez] is a track I like, I can't wait to go to Europe," said Espargaro. "I really prefer the European tracks, a lot more narrow, different tarmac.

"I'm sure Aprilia will be better there and I think the level of the team, the bike, myself is better than everybody expects and I'm completely sure we'll be a surprise in many of the next races."

Aprilia's main element to improve from over the off-season was a new engine, but it was only introduced for the Qatar race weekend by the manufacturer.

Espargaro said Austin was the first race he could use the new power unit's at its maximum capacity and says the RS-GP is now "not far from the other bikes".

"The engine really makes a good step, it’s the first race I can fight with the maximum power available," he said. "I was able to overtake in the straight, to stay with the Yamahas, Hondas, Ducatis, the difference was not super-huge.

"I’m very anxious to keep racing with this bike because I feel strong. I feel good with the bike, even if the bike looks similar to last year it’s completely different.

"The weight is in different places, the front is completely different. It’s more on my riding style and when everything is ok I feel really strong with this bike."

Additional reporting by Charles Bradley and Oriol Puigdemont

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro
Teams Aprilia Racing Team
Article type Breaking news