Espargaro had a strong pre-season on the overhauled RS-GP, and finished both sessions of last Wednesday’s test inside the top 10.
But the Spaniard admits Aprilia lost its way from Friday practice onwards due to various technical issues and he could only qualify down in 17th.
He says Aprilia reverted to a set-up closer to what he ran at the Sepang and Qatar test and felt “very strong” in the race – though he would only last three laps before crashing.
Commenting on his weekend, Espargaro said: “We got lost during the weekend with the setting of the bike and this morning [in warm-up] we found something.
“We completely changed the bike, we went back to a bike very close [to what I rode] in Malaysia and Qatar. I felt very, very strong in the warm-up, but in the race I didn’t start good.
“I felt really good and maybe I was too anxious, I tried to overtake, I felt a lot stronger than [Miguel] Oliveira, than [Danilo] Petrucci. I rushed a little bit and I made a mistake and I crashed.”
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
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