Aleix Espargaro top CRT rider again, qualifying 11th at Le Mans
Yesterday was all about the front four in free practice (Pedrosa, Márquez, Rossi & Lorenzo), as they were split by just two tenths of a second, but it was a different story today. Márquez dominated Q2 with Lorenzo three hundredths behind him, whilst the front row was completed by Dovizioso, a further four tenths down. Pedrosa and Rossi will start a few places down the grid. The differing lap times today could affect the racing tomorrow and even more so if the forecast rain does fall. Q2 was preceded by two key points, a red flag in FP4 due to a crash for Crutchlow and the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar dominance of Q1, with both the team’s riders making it into Q2 for the first time. It should be an exciting race in the rain on Sunday, perhaps with a few surprises.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair in fact made history at Le Mans becoming the first two CRT riders to simultaneously make it through to Q2 since the new system was introduced. Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet dominated Q1, the Frenchman on top followed by the Catalan, leaving two prototype riders out of Q2. After three rounds dominated in CRT by Aleix, his colleague in the Valencian team was able to stay with him on this occasion as both registered times in the high 1’34 level. The nearest CRT riders are seven tenths behind them so the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar duo expect to battle for the top CRT place in the race from the fourth row on the grid.
11th Aleix Espargaró 1.34.754:
“I’m the top CRT rider again today but to be honest it’s been real hard work to put in fast lap times. The cold track is hard for getting a good feeling and the set-up is different to elsewhere, we’ve had to adapt it to the changeable conditions. In Q1 we had a difficult moment because the chassis setting is different between my two bikes. In Q2 I was able to reduce my lap time, I’m almost not sure how, but I’m happy with that anyway. Both bikes are now set-up perfectly so we’ll see which one to use for the race. We’ve been a step ahead of the rest of the CRTs in the opening three races, but Randy is on it here so we’re alert. I hoped I could go faster than him on the faster tyres and fortunately that’s how it worked out”.
Source: Aspar Media