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MotoGP Americas GP

Aprilia "not in control" of issue that took out two riders in Americas MotoGP

Aleix Espargaro says Aprilia is "not in control" of a ride height device issue that led to his crash in the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix and forced Raul Fernandez out.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Espargaro’s rear ride height device malfunctioned on the opening lap of the Americas GP last Sunday and he was forced to navigate the opening corners with his Aprilia stuck in a lower position.

As he opened the throttle to exit Turn 12 on the first lap, Espargaro crashed and was unable to rejoin.

Espargaro says this issue has happened before with the 2023 RS-GP but normally when conditions are hot, though he noted there were no problems in the sprint race at the Circuit of the Americas that was run in sweltering temperatures.

“I did all the first part of the track with the rear ride height device low and when I touched the throttle in corner 12 I lost the front,” Espargaro said.

“There’s nothing more I can say. Raul today had the same problem. Yes, it is [critical]. They need to solve it, it’s not the first time that it happened for us.

“Last year it didn’t happen at all for us, but we changed a little bit with this part from 2022 to 2023-spec bike and the 2022 is still having it, and the 2023 bike we had it in the pre-season.

“We didn’t have it in the first two races, but we did [in the Americas GP].

“Normally it happens when it’s super-hot, but [in the sprint] it didn’t happen. So, we are not super in control of when and how.”

Raul Fernandez, RNF MotoGP Racing

Raul Fernandez, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

RNF’s Fernandez felt he was on for a strong race after recovering positions from 19th on the grid on the first lap, but had to retire a few tours later when his ride height device also broke.

“I did a good start, when I saw the first lap and I was 13th, I said ‘f***, I am really good’,” the Spaniard said.

“Today was the day I was more comfortable on the bike because it was super easy to catch the group.

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“In two laps I was behind Maverick, Miguel and Zarco and I thought we had a good pace.

“But in one lap I had a mechanical problem, I tried a solution on the bike but unfortunately the bike didn’t have a solution. I cannot say [what happened].”

Additional reporting by Lorenza Dadderio

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