Aleix Espargaro reckons that the “very important” new front fairing Aprilia brought for the British Grand Prix weekend was “the key” to him charging from 12th to win at Silverstone.

The Spaniard managed to recapture the blistering form he possessed en-route to leading Friday’s dry P2 test by well over half-a-second on Sunday as he swiftly worked his way through the leading riders to insert himself into podium contention just five laps into the encounter.

From there he took advantage of a crash from pole-man Marco Bezzecchi to become long-time leader Francesco Bagnaia’s closest victory rival, Espargaro swiftly cutting down the advantage the factory Ducati pilot had built.

Having both survived the sketchy conditions brought on by a brief rain shower towards the end of the lap, Espargaro then pulled off a bold pass into Copse on the very final tour en-route to securing his first win of the year – one he feels was brought about due to the improvements in how he was able to pick-up and accelerate his RS-GP thanks to Aprilia’s “important upgrade” of a new fairing.

“From Friday when I started to test the new fairing and new front end I felt I could close the better so that I could prepare the pick-up a little earlier,” explained Espargaro.

“The bike pick-up and acceleration phase is one of my weak points, Maverick (Vinales) is always better in this area so I improved a lot in this regard this weekend with the new fairing.

“I think this was the key because I could stand the bike up much better than in previous races, so this has been a very important upgrade and hopefully we can keep improving the bike for the future.

“The bike is very competitive but still not the best, so hopefully one day we can be the reference bike in MotoGP.”

Espargaro explained that a key weakness he observed about Bagnaia last season – namely a lack of edge-grip through the fast right-hander of Woodcote – allowed him to perfectly set-up the move that ultimately led to a second career premier class success.

“I was a lot faster in corners two and three, my plan was to pass Pecco there but I nearly high-sided and crashed so I lost some ground,” added Espargaro.

“Then I focussed on trying to recover time on him, and I knew at Woodcote last year Pecco had a lot less traction than me so I gained a lot of time there.

“I knew if he lost traction and drive there then in the next one (Copse) with the higher temperature on the right side of the tyre he’d have even less acceleration, so I was super committed.

“I went to the outside and accelerated better than him, he did a great job out front when the rain came in judging grip but I had more traction at the end so I could have some advantage on the last lap.”  

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