Temperatures crept up after a cool start to the traditional Spanish fixture at the short, narrow and demanding Jerez circuit in Andalucía. Pol Espargaro initially turned heads with a bright 3rd place in the first Free Practice session on Friday but as the heat increased so lap-times dropped, and both the Spaniard, Bradley Smith and Mike Kallio (the Finn, in his first wildcard appearance of the year, was riding a updated version of the KTM RC16 that both #44 and #38 will test at the same track on Monday and Tuesday) could not significantly upgrade their pace. The trio tried their best to make the Q1 ‘cut’ but completed a busy afternoon of work and experimentation and settled with 16th, 19th (for Kallio) and 21st (Smith).
“We are missing a little something and maybe with Mika’s bike on Monday and Tuesday we will find it! It feels like we are at the maximum limit of the bike at the moment. I’m happy because we gave everything but we want much more at this Red Bull Grand Prix. We are always trying to find grip but we need to improve our turning.”
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