Pons and Espargaro still with work to do before the race
Aleix Espargaro, who achieved a good eighth place in today’s qualifying session with less than one second from pole, experienced some problems with the front of his Pons Kalex which kept him from improving his laptime of the previous practice sessions where he’s been very consistent. Espargaró finished outside the second row by just 63 milliseconds. However, the former MotoGP rider was able to find a good pace throughout the weekend which keeps him motivated to be able to fight for the front tomorrow.
His teammate Axel Pons saw his progression come to an abrupt halt in the qualifying with an unfortunate crash in the first corner which made him lose a lot of time, just as he was ranked among the top ten. In the end Pons finished in 20th position, for the seventh row of the grid, although just like in Qatar again with a pace that could see him fight for the top ten.
The race starts at 12.15 PM tomorrow with riders and teams waiting to see how the weather evolves as there’s been forecasts of rain.
#40. Aleix Espargaró: 8º – 1’43’676
“I’m not very happy with the position or the setup I have for tomorrow. I’m not entirely comfortable with the front, it’s difficult to change direction. But we are in a better position than in Qatar and at least we know what problems we have and should improve. We tested a solution that has helped us in one part, but didn’t in another. In the warm-up we will try to improve this. I could ride behind Bradl who has helped me as usual. I noticed that I lose some time in the corners, he has more confidence in the front and cornering is where you make up time. Tomorrow I have to try to finish among the top five. I think in front of me on the grid there are some who qualified with one of those crazy laps. I have a constant rhythm, but first I have to solve the problem in the front, also for safety reasons to avoid a crash. If it rains I’ll have the experience from testing in Portugal. I did only a few laps, but I enjoyed it a lot. In both conditios I think we’ll have fun.”
# 80. Axel Pons: 20º – 1’44’478
“The crash was a shame, because during all practice sessions I’ve been improving and even in the morning I’ve improved my laptime a lot. I had a good setup and have only been able to do four laps. So because of that I’m a little disappointed. I lost the front in the first corner and I could not do anything. But tomorrow is the race, which is what counts. I will try to get a good start and put myself in the best position possible. I’ve always been among the top 15 and that’s a good motivation to think about doing a good race tomorrow.”
Source: Pons Racing