Still buoyed after 6th position from round five of nineteen at Le Mans two weeks ago, Red Bull KTM travelled to Mugello and the wonderfully scenic and challenging course a short distance north of Florence. Largely unaltered in design since the circuit first appeared in Grand Prix back in the mid 1970s, Mugello was a different prospect altogether compared to the heavy braking zones and tighter corners at the French venue.
Pol Espargaro was immediately on the clock from the first Free Practice sessions on Friday, already dipping into the 1min 46 bracket to vie for direct Q2 selection. On Saturday Pol roared out of the pitbox to set the second fastest time in FP3; achieved with a lap almost two seconds better than the effort he managed in 2018 and thus representing fantastic progress.
Espargaro was able to wait until Q2 (the second time in six rounds he was able to enter the chrono) where he used his last flying lap of the fifteen-minute session to log a 1min46.4 and end the day in 11th.
“I’m more than satisfied. The lap-time we did this morning was outstanding and I feel super-proud of what we are doing. I wanted to do better in the afternoon but if there is a small change then we pay for it quite hard. It was quite windy in some parts of the track in the afternoon and with the change of direction I could not move the bike. I was hitting T1 even faster than the morning lap but I was losing it through T2, 3, 4: more than four tenths of a second there. Honestly though I am super-happy and looking forward to tomorrow because I think we have better pace than what we are showing. It will be a fun race.”
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