Pons Team finishes preseason with Espargaro showing promising speed
This week the preseason has officially ended with the Moto2 riders finishing the last day of the IRTA test that started at the Jerez circuit last Friday. Despite the threat of rain the riders were finally able to take advantage of almost the whole day, making it possible to adjust the bikes some more before the start of the championship in eleven days in Qatar. After having a difficult Saturday, Aleix Espargaro has shown from the early stages of the session that he’s able to solve problems, which allowed him to develop a fast rhythm and finish with the sixth fastest time in the overall standings of the three days. This gives the former MotoGP rider good chances to start the new season, with his goal to be in the front positions from the start.
Axel Pons has also improved, by 1.2 seconds compared to Saturday, on a difficult day where he added another crash to the one from yesterday. Despite this Pons accumulated more than sixty laps on the final day in Jerez, mainly focusing on finding a good base for the beginning of the season, trying to find the consistency that allows him from the first Grand Prix onwards to fulfill his goal of being constantly in the points and even within the top ten.
This test session marked the end of the preseason for the Pons HP 40 Team in a winter marked by the weather and with fewer days to prepare for the year than they last season. In a few days the team headed by Sito Pons will fly to Qatar for the start the season.
#40. Aleix Espargaró: 6º – 1’43’504
I’m happy, even though I actually only used a single day. I did a good time, although I admit that at first was very optimistic and expected to be in a better position and ride faster. The preseason has been a bit short, especially because of the weather, and also because it began just before the championship. I go to Qatar not as prepared as I would have liked, but enough to be among the top five without too much trouble. Yesterday I was blocked and things didn’t go well; it was one of those days when you wake up with the wrong foot and I could not learn anything from all the tests we were doing. Today we changed the setting and it has helped me a little, but mostly it was me, because yesterday I just was not in tune. Anyway, the conclusion is positive and I am really looking forward to Qatar.”
# 80. Axel Pons: 29º – 1’44’853
“It’s been a test in not optimal conditions, quite cold and with a risk of rain all the time, which makes you try to force things to take advantage of the time. I had two quite heavy crashes in fast corners and that made me lose confidence a little. After that, little by little, I was doing lap after lap getting better and returning to find the right point. We have also made some changes to the bike that allowed me to go much faster and above all to ride comfortably alone. We fulfilled the work program and despite setbacks we have done quite well, making me look forward to Qatar. I wanted to find a base setup which gives me confidence with the bike and after testing I think we succeeded. I felt comfortable, so that’s very positive.”
Source: Pons Racing