Espargaró and Pons immediately on the pace in Sepang
This Friday the penultimate round of the MotoGP World Championship started at the Sepang circuit with good performance from the HP Pons 40 riders, on a day when teams and riders looked closely on the weather changes with the threat of rain. Aleix Espargaró set the second fastest time on the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, only 0.022 seconds slower than the fastest laptime of the day. Axel Pons finished in 21st place.
Espargaró quickly felt comfortable with his Pons Kalex on the Malaysian track, going at a good pace and posting a quick laptime which was already below the pole position record of last season and only 0.022s behind leading rider Stefan Bradl, also on Kalex.
Teammate Axel Pons, despite a small crash, has been able to draw some positive conclusions, ending the day just over a second and a half behind the fastest rider, which makes him very confident in his abilities for qualifying session tomorrow.
#40. Aleix Espargaró: 2° – 2’08″486
“For two races I felt like everything was a mess, I don’t know why but I felt that I couldn’t go fast. Japan is a track that I don’t like, but Australia I do like and I could not understand what was going on, the bike went well and I could not go fast. This morning I started calmer, especially as the track conditions were not too good, but I felt comfortable and knew I could do well. In the middle of the practice we had a small problem with the engine, but in the end I could do two laps and go fast consecutively. It’s all very tight and we rode a little faster than the pole time last year. It is important to get a good setup on the bike to reduce the tyre wear, because it’s hot here and it will be important for the end of the race to see who manages the tyres better. I’m eager to do well. I don’t like being so far behind and starting like this gives me motivation.”
#80. Axel Pons: 21° – 2’09″997
“The bike is more or less good, although we have to improve a couple of small things. In general I am quite happy. This morning the track was a little weird, but in the end it’s been improving. I’m in 21st position, a second and a half behind, which is not much at such a long circuit. If we improve the bike a little for tomorrow we’ll surely be closer, especially with the front wheel. I had a small crash and that made me lose a little confidence, but I know it will not be a problem for tomorrow.”
Source: Pons Racing