Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro clinched a strong 5th place finish at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 today. The young Spaniard launched off the front row of the grid and shot to the head of the field when the race started.
Espargaro completed the first lap in 2nd and remained in this position until the 5th lap as he challenged Marc Marquez for the lead of the race. He was then shuffled back two places but the 25-year-old stayed firm as he carried on his formidable pace at the high-speed circuit.
He eventually slipped back another position on the 12th lap, but he powered onwards and opened a comfortable gap to the 2015 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who pursued him. From here, Espargaro lapped consistently before powering across the finish line in 5th, which marks a highly positive end to the weekend for the former Moto2 World Champion.
He now sets his sights on closing the triple flyaway events with another top tier result at the Malaysian Grand Prix next week.
“Today I played all my cards and we have to leave Phillip Island feeling pleased about our performance over the weekend. The start itself was good and I put myself at the front of the field, plus I didn’t make any mistakes. In addition, I tried to brake smoothly and not take unnecessary risks throughout the GP. However, I can’t help but feel a bit frustrated when I think about how the factory riders passed me, whilst I was trying to fight with them, but I guess that’s how things go. Yet, I know that we gave our all and I have to say that the team is continuing to work in the same way that they did on our first day together, even if there are only a couple more races left together, and I appreciate that a lot. I think we were probably a bit lucky that there was limited dry track time this weekend because I believe this is why we were in front of a few factory guys today. However, looking at the results we have to be happy with what we are taking away from this GP and we will keep fighting for another strong result next week in Malaysia.”
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