Aleix Espargaro 11th fastest on Sepang day one despite chatter problems
A three-week intercontinental triple-header for the MotoGP World Championship got underway today with the first day of free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Despite a typical lunchtime thunderstorm that interrupted a day of intense heat both the morning and afternoon sessions took place in dry conditions, giving Dani Pedrosa the opportunity to make up for his frustration at Aragón two weeks ago with a dominant display that saw him close to pole record time (2’00.554 compared to 2’00.334 – Jorge Lorenzo 2012) and half a second clear of his closest rival.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar team made a positive start to the weekend despite both riders complaining of chatter issues. The bumpy Sepang surface had already caused them problems during preseason testing but both Aleix Espargaró and teammate Randy De Puniet worked hard, Aleix finishing the day as the top CRT in eleventh place overall with Randy in sixteenth.
Both riders set their best effort in the afternoon session, the Spaniard’s being the best ever lap of this track by an ART machine with a time of 2’02.610.
11th Aleix Espargaró 2.02.610 (25 laps):
“Today has been pretty productive. We have finished not too far from the fastest lap of the day and only a second off fifth place. We had some chatter issues here during the winter tests and they returned today but we worked hard to reduce them as much as possible. Our strong point here is our corner speed and especially our corner entry so we are trying to make the most of it. The chatter problem limits this but we’re doing our best and we have set our best ever lap around Sepang on the ART so that is positive.”
Source: Aspar Media