Pons back in action at Japanese track, Espargaro 10th on opening day
On a day when heavy traffic on the track has hampered the work of the top riders, Aleix Espargaró was left not fully satisfied with his performance at the Motegi circuit, which has undergone minor modifications after the earthquake in March. The Pons HP 40 rider suffered a technical problem – and he wasn’t the only one on the grid – which didn’t allow him to compare his laptimes on the Pons Kalex. Despite this lack of references, Espargaró was just over eight tenths slower than the fastest laptime on a day where the fastest time of 2010 has already been improved.
His teammate Axel Pons experienced his first day back on the bike after missing three Grands Prix and it helped him regain his feelings on the Moto2 bike and checked the progression of his left hand. Pons still suffered some minor discomfort on the first day, which he used to get back into the rhythm of a category where 31 riders finished the day separated by less than two seconds.
#40. Aleix Espargaro: 10 – 1’53.813
“We had a problem all day, I couldn’t see the timing on the screen and it is very difficult to work without any reference. I don’t think I was the only rider who this happened to. The bike has not been quite right, but in the afternoon we went a little better. Although we have to do more for tomorrow. I don’t have enough grip on the rear and when I open the throttle I slide a lot. For the second session we made a big change, but again were lacking a bit. We rode very fast today, at the record pace of last year, and above all the riders are close together.”
#80. Axel Pons: 28 – 1’54.870
“Basically what it boils down to is that I still do not feel like the bike is mine. I do not feel confident enough to put it where I want, and accelerate where I want. My thoughts are ahead of what I do. But every time I have been improving and feeling more comfortable. Hopefully tomorrow the weather stays good and we can continue to evolve. Six weeks without riding the bike really shows. I hoped that the hand wouldn’t hurt at all, but it still hurts a bit, especially in a part where I have to put more weight on it; and I lost some muscle mass in the left arm. But it is a matter of training. To ride it’s more or less okay, I can’t lift the index finger at all and it’s a bit hard for me to reach the clutch, but nothing like how it’s been before.”
Source: Pons Racing