Espargaro confident to close gap to factory bikes after strong start at Assen

 In Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, News

Jorge Lorenzo set the pace for much of the opening day of free practice at Assen although the time sheets were turned on their head in an entertaining finale to the day that saw challenges from Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies, who finally finished on top. However, with eleven riders within half a second it promises to be a close battle for the next two days around the fast and flowing Dutch circuit.

The two POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team riders continued their personal battle to be the fastest CRT rider on track, with just 0.256 seconds separating Aleix Espargaró from his team-mate Randy De Puniet after 39 laps apiece. De Puniet was the fastest of the two this morning only to be usurped by Espargaró in the afternoon, the Frenchman looking for solutions to improve his rear traction whilst the Spaniard reported positive feedback from the chassis of his ART machine. Both riders are within two seconds of Spies’ best effort.

12th Aleix Espargaró 1.36.615 (39 laps): “We have improved at every race this season and the bike is getting easier and easier to ride. I really like this track and we’ve hardly touched the set-up from Silverstone, I feel at one with the bike and we were able to push hard today and close the gap to the factory bikes. This is a bold statement, but I think we’re getting close to finding the limit of this bike and it is going to be difficult to get more out of it. I spent three laps behind Bradl and Valentino and was barely conceding three tenths a lap to them. The chassis on the ART is magnificent, we’re just struggling for power.”

Source: Aspar Team Press Release

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