Espargaro happy with progress and hoping to be top CRT rider again in U.S. race
After an opening day dominated by Dani Pedrosa at Laguna Seca yesterday, today it was the turn of the man he trails in the championship to take over, Jorge Lorenzo setting the pace in the final free practice session this morning before taking pole position with a last lap effort this afternoon. Heavy fog made the second day’s opening session virtually useless until it lifted for the final few moments but there were no such setbacks or indeed surprises in qualifying practice after lunch, when the top three riders in the current points standings took the three front row positions for tomorrow’s race.
It was always going to take more than a little fog to stop the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team from continuing their domination of the CRT revolution, with Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró getting to grips with the Laguna Seca layout on their second day here with the ART machine. Qualifying proved to be a two-way battle between the pair for the top CRT position on the grid, Randy sealing it with a lap of 1’22.886 to edge out his team-mate by two tenths after Aleix was baulked by another rider on his final lap.
12th Aleix Espargaró 1.23.075 (25 laps): “I didn’t manage to get the bike set-up as good as I would have liked today. We couldn’t get it turning as I wanted and I struggled for confidence in the front. Luckily at the end of the session I managed to improve a little. Rear tyre wear is quite severe here and after seven or eight laps it was sliding around a lot. On the last lap of qualifying I was on a hot lap behind Valentino but Elías got in my way and I lost my chance. It was a shame because I think it would have been enough to qualify as the top CRT but anyway I am happy with the way we’re progressing. In the last few races I have qualified as the top CRT only for Randy to beat me in the race so hopefully this weekend works out the other way around.”
Source: Aspar Team Press Release