Aleix Espargaro dominated Friday observe on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, topping the mixed timesheets by zero.303s from Aprilia team-mate Maverick Vinales.
Espargaro is on a purple patch in 2022, coming to his house race off the again of four-straight podium finishes so as to add to his Argentina victory.
The low-grip nature of the Barcelona observe is just like the way it was in Argentina, the place Espargaro certified on pole earlier than scoring his historic first win.
Because of this, most of Aprilia’s rivals have already highlighted Espargaro as being the strongest rider in Barcelona after Friday.
“I used to be shocked initially,” Bagnaia, who was fourth total on Friday, mentioned when requested in regards to the pace of the Aprilia when he adopted it in FP1.
“However it was the primary laps, and so they already rode this yr on this observe with the road bike.
“So, it’s slightly benefit however for positive Aprilia in a state of affairs of low grip may be very aggressive.
“In traction, they [Aprilia] have actually good traction. It’s one thing I already seen all yr.
“However on this observe they’ll make extra of a distinction as a result of for all the remainder the grip is decrease.
“However I actually don’t know as a result of I didn’t strive. For positive it’s a attribute of that bike.
“Additionally, in Argentina the grip was low and so they had been quick.
“For positive, Aleix rides the Aprilia extremely and Maverick is coming to using it in the identical approach of Aleix. So, it might be tough to beat them on this observe.”
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Group, Aprilia Racing Group
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Espargaro urged for “calm” over Aprilia’s probabilities after Friday, whereas noting that he couldn’t “abuse” the robust factors of the RS-GP at the moment.
“It’s very, very low grip – lower than low grip,” Espargaro mentioned of the Barcelona circuit.
“I bear in mind Barcelona was like Brno, now we now not have Brno, Barcelona is the worst grip on the present calendar.
“So, it’s important to adapt to it. Sadly, on the rear everybody was on the identical, we have now the traction management so it’s crucial to work on the electronics.
“However on the entrance I’m not feeling good as a result of I can not actually abuse the great factors of the bike.
“However total I’m fairly good. It’s simply Friday, we have now to be calm, however with the development of this yr and with the extent of the grid, if you happen to don’t begin actually good it’s tough.”