Aleix Espargaro finds ‘great feeling and confidence’ in Jerez practice sessions
The Spanish Grand Prix preparations began today with the opening practice sessions in Jerez. What had been pinpointed as a ‘Yamaha track’ saw three riders from the factory inside the top five after two sessions.
Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest man on day one, dominating practically the entirety of the second session. Five riders (Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Rossi and Márquez) finished the day little over three tenths of a second back, beginning what is sure to be a close weekend. The CRT riders also had a good showing, with two inside the top ten on the combined timesheet.
Once again, POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró was close to the best practice times. Today in Jerez he was just 1.1 seconds off the fastest time of the day, ahead of four riders on ‘official’ bikes. In a rarity, Espargaró was not the fastest CRT rider, missing out by just two thousandths of a second. However, his overall pace was the best of the CRT competitors. He expects further improvement tomorrow, in order to go straight through to Q2.
10th Aleix Espargaró 1.40.738 (28 laps):
“This first day has been very positive, I found a great feeling and confidence. Today I was not the fastest CRT rider and I always like to be ahead, but I am calm because we could see that we had a better pace than the rest. Although we were pipped to the best time by two thousandths of a second over one lap, our pace is better overall. The important thing is that we have a great pace and that the bike works perfectly. We lacked a bit of grip on the rear, the bike was sliding out a little, but I guess it’s normal on the first day with the track not yet in perfect condition. We finished 1.1 seconds off the fastest time and I’m happy with this. Tomorrow we will have to keep working hard in the morning session and it would be great to go directly into Q2. This afternoon we made a change to the swingarm but it was not as productive as we expected, so tomorrow will take a step back.”
Source: Aspar Media