Espargaro and Pons off to a good start at home Grand Prix
One of the most iconic Grand Prix weekends in the MotoGP calendar started this morning at the Jerez circuit which celebrates its 25th GP anniversary this year. And this first day has been very positive for the Pons HP 40 Team, confirming the good feeling of the riders after the race in Qatar, following difficult practice sessions.
In the first free practice, both Axel Pons and Aleix Espargaro used the time to make first adjustments to their Kalex Pons bikes which they would confirm in the second session, but the the strong wind greatly complicated the work of the riders. Despite this handicap Aleix Espargaró lapped half a second faster, finishing in the overall timesheets of the day in eighth place, seven tenths behind the fastest rider, having posted the fifth-fastest time in the second session.
His teammate Axel Pons improved his laptime by more than one and a half seconds, finishing the second session in 12th place and the day 16th-fastest overall, a little over a second behind the front runners.
#40. Aleix Espargaró: 8º – 1’44’248
“I’m happy. The bike has worked quite well. In the morning we didn’t use the soft tyre, because we don’t have many of them, and we focused on working with the hard tyre. It’s a shame to have so few tires, because the soft one is working really well, although this is the same for all riders. The same applies to the strong wind this evening, very troublesome. I am more comfortable with the bike, riding more aggressive with more confidence, I’m in control of the bike and it helps you accumulate kilometers. Overall I still have many things to learn about this bike, but every time I feel better. I lack a bit in the cornering and a bit of confidence with the front, but I think we’re close. Because the bike works well as Bradl demonstrated in Qatar.”
#80. Axel Pons: 16º – 1’44’674
“Usually I it takes me a bit to get into the rhythm when I go to a track and in the first practice session it takes longer to ride fast, but I need to find the references and the right feeling. In the second session I went out and I have gradually improved. I also have to give thanks to Aleix, because riding behind him at the beginning helped me to pick up the pace. Every lap I’m feeling better and I’m eager to get working again tomorrow to improve on today’s result. Also in the afternoon I used the softer tire which allows better laptimes. Tomorrow we will try if I can do the race with this compound or if we need to make any changes, also about my riding, to make the most of Sunday. I am pleased with this first day, especially at a Grand Prix as important as this one.”
Source: Pons Racing