Aleix Espargaro feels Aprilia should have adopted a riskier tyre strategy in MotoGP’s Czech Grand Prix, as he felt that fighting while running low down the order was “pointless”.
Espargaro, still not fully recovered from the rib injuries he sustained in a crash at the Sachsenring, scored one point at Brno with his 15th place finish.
But the Spaniard was “pissed off” after the race, feeling it was “impossible” to go faster, but he also criticised Aprilia for choosing a conservative strategy.
Espargaro ended up using hard tyres to ensure he could complete the race without rubber wear issues, but with hindsight said he would have preferred to gamble on a soft rear tyre, as Nieto Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista did and use to finish ninth.
“With a hard rear tyre we didn’t have any grip,” said Espargaro.
“I felt really bad in the warm-up and I felt I was, till the last moment, doubtful [over] chosing the soft rear option.
“But at the end the team decided to go to the safe way on the hard-hard option and finish the race. Sincerely, from my point of view, it is no meaning to finish the race 15th or 14th.
“I [have] respect for everybody, but I am not happy finishing [in] this position, I can’t understand what is the point of finishing 15th or 14th place or 25 seconds from the leader.
“It is better to take the risk, for example what Bautista did in the last moment on the grid and he did a very solid race.”
Espargaro said he had “no explanation” for Aprilia’s current struggles – he also suffered a blown engine in qualifying.
“[It] has been a very difficult weekend, [the] bike is not working,” he said.
“I don’t understand what is going on, I don’t understand why we did this step back from last season.
“I am really pissed off, sincerely. I can’t go faster, it is impossible, the bike is not turning when I release the front brake.
“[There is] no clear explanation of what is going on. We are not fast, I am trying everything I can but if you push more, it is just a crash, all the time.
“The bike is not turning when we release the front brake, [and I’m] struggling with no grip on the rear. [It] looks like if we were running with three-steps harder tyres than last year.
“I can’t risk, I can’t go faster – if I try to go faster I just get a crash – so it is very difficult.
“I don’t know what the problem is exactly. [In the test on Monday] we have an important day because we can try to change the situation a little bit but sincerely I have no clear idea.”
Espargaro’s Aprilia team-mate Scott Redding crashed out of the Brno race while running 16th.