Aleix Espargaro continues where he left off and starts 2013 as fastest CRT rider
Although the Sepang circuit was open for activity on Sunday with select CRT teams, it was not until this Tuesday that the majority of the field congregated at the Malaysian track. 28 riders, both MotoGP and CRT full timers and test riders, were testing their 2013 machinery from 10am right through to 6pm. The weather forecast had predicted rain, but there was merely the lightest drizzle at midday. The track was thus completely dry, thanks to the humid atmosphere. Dani Pedrosa was fastest with a 2.01.157 lap, whilst the best CRT rider was Aleix Espargaró with a 2.03.782.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders picked up from where they left off at the end of 2012, and were again the top dogs of the CRT competitors in Sepang. Aleix Espargaró was quickest of the CRTs and 14th fastest overall, with a best time of 2.03.782. Teammate Randy De Puniet was just behind him with a fastest lap of 2.04.283. There are three more CRT riders than last year, adding up to twelve at the test. Espargaró and De Puniet had a new swingarm and chassis available to them for the Malaysian test and, whilst the Frenchman tried out everything on Day 1, Espargaró chose to leave chassis testing for another day. Both riders were on track early and stayed out until the end, with only a brief break at 2pm providing a respite from the short stints. Espargaró’s final time was 2.5 seconds off the overall fastest and De Puniet’s 3 seconds.
14th Aleix Espargaró 2.03.782 (58 laps): “We started very early this morning; I think we were the first out on track. We tried a swingarm and also had the new chassis ready, although I decided not to use it today and instead have today as a more general ride. Our starting setup was the same as for the final race of last year. I wanted to regain my feel for the bike after the winter break. The first morning stint was hard, as after so long away it felt strange to be back on a GP bike. However, from the second stint on I began to feel much more comfortable. We did a lot of short runs of no more than 5 laps. I am happy to have been the fastest CRT here, as it is our obligation to continue on top like last year. The difference between us and the rest of the riders isn’t huge, so I am satisfied.”
Source: Aspar Team Press Release