Rain slows down Espargaro’s progress and spoils Checa’s comeback to MotoGP

 In Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, News

As it happened during Aragon’s Grand Prix, the riders would have to face today two free practice sessions, forty-five minutes each on Estoril’s track. Unfortunately the rain felt throughout the morning has not allowed the riders to take part to the first free session practice. The track still wet, during the second free practice, did not help the Pramac Racing Team riders, which closed the session with the fourteenth and seventeenth best lap time, respectively with Espargarò and Checa. The gap from the first rider of the ranking was huge, Aleix Espargarò stopped the clock with over five seconds of gap from the fastest time of Lorenzo. Carlos Checa, who has returned on a MotoGP bike after three years of Superbike, has clocked his best lap time during the last lap, ending the session with six seconds of gap from the lead rider. Tomorrow morning, during the third free practice, both will be able to lower their lap times and be more close to the other riders. Despite the weather condition, the hope is that the white-green duo can be able to make as many lap as possible on Estoril’s track.

Fabiano Sterlacchini – Technical Director
“The rain had a bit spoiled the day, either Aleix than Carlos needed to run as much as possible on the track and this morning was not possible. We had good feedback from Carlos that despite the difficult change of category, SBK in MotoGP, has since the firsts laps a good lap pace with our bike. His result, after all, is not the worst if we consider the reduced gap that he had accused by some riders who have raced since April in this category. This morning we had identified two wet settings with two different geometries. Thanks to the only lap that Carlos was able to do this morning he had understand which of the two bikes setting he preferred. He had told us that he had not pushed hard because he don’t know yet the limits of his new bike, this gives us confidence for tomorrow because we think he could have significant improve his lap time.”

Aleix Espargarò – Pramac Racing Team – 14th fastest time in 1’53 .769
“I do not have really much to say, today’s weather conditions haven’t certainly helped me this morning. I was the first rider to exit from the pit lane, but the track was really full of water and with lots of puddles. During this afternoon we worked on the bike setting, we had two alternatives to be developed. We’ve got the possibility to try them both and define which gives more guarantees of performance. It will be vital for me to stay on the track as much as possible during the third free practice tomorrow in order to reduce as much as I can my lap pace.”

Carlos Checa – Pramac Racing Team – 17th fastest time in 1’54 .444
“There couldn’t been worst weather conditions for my return in the MotoGP world. Too bad because the rain did not allow me to do many laps as I wanted. This morning tests were completely useless, the water on the track was really too much. There is a huge difference between the Superbike bike that I was able to ride during this year and the MotoGP bike of the Pramac Racing Team, but despite the difference I was able to improve my pace lap after lap. I need time to get used to this new bike that I’ve tested only during a short test on Mugello track, but in completely different conditions. I hope that I can run as much as possible tomorrow morning and improve the feeling with the bike.”

Source: Pramac Racing Press Release

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