Espargaro best CRT qualifier and ahead of factory prototypes with impressive laptime

 In Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, News

A heavy grey backdrop of menacing clouds greeted the MotoGP riders as they took to the Aragon circuit for qualifying practice this afternoon, making for an intense session from start to finish. An early crash for Dani Pedrosa showed just how keen the riders were to make headway and as Jorge Lorenzo struggled to find his pace it was Ben Spies who took initial control from Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow. Title contenders Lorenzo and Pedrosa gradually strengthened their challenge, however, and in an exciting finale for the local fans it was the former who sealed pole position by just 0.088 seconds at the chequered flag. Crutchlow will hope to do battle with the pair again tomorrow after qualifying on the front row in third place.

Randy De Puniet struck first in the battle of the CRT riders but it was his POWER ELECTRONICS team-mate Aleix Espargaró who would eventually emerge on top. The Spanish rider strung together an excellent sequence of laps in the 1’51s at the end of the session, a best effort of 1’51.082 enough for eleventh place on tomorrow’s grid. With just 1.6 seconds separating him from pole position Aleix is relishing the prospect of his third home race of the season tomorrow. De Puniet’s challenge was unfortunately halted by a late mechanical problem but the Frenchman knows he has the pace to take the fight to Aleix tomorrow.

11th Aleix Espargaró 1.51.082 (23 laps): “I am really happy with our performance today, it has been a fantastic weekend so far. We have been improving all season in the wet conditions and here we have taken another step forward. In the dry today I felt comfortable from the start and on my last run with the soft tyre I set three really fast laps. I think the lap time is impressive and I hope we can repeat it tomorrow. It will be a tough race because we haven’t had chance to test the hard tyres due to the low temperatures, whilst the soft option goes off quickly. Hopefully the sun comes out tomorrow morning for warm-up so that we can make a choice for the race.”

Source: Aspar Team Press Release

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