Espargaro working on big task list and motivated by teammate’s strong form
The 21 riders that will contest the 2012 MotoGP World Championship were finally all on track together for the first time today as official preseason testing got underway at Jerez. Warm sunshine allowed the majority of riders to lap from around 10:30am until the track closed at 6pm. Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa remain the men to beat and the new era of MotoGP is already proving to be a success, with the most densely packed entry list for years.
For the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team this was the time to reap the fruit of their hard work over the winter and measure their progress against their most direct rivals. In fact, Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró were the fastest CRT riders on track despite a crash for the Frenchman at turn five, at around 2pm, which cost him around two hours of track time. De Puniet set a series of laps in the 1’41s with a best effort of 1’41.015. Espargaró struggled a little more to get into his rhythm but after a host of tyre tests and electronic adjustments he was able to step up his pace. His best lap time, a 1’42.293, came on his 52nd of 59 and was a satisfactory end to his day.
14th Aleix Espargaró 1.42.293 (59 laps): “The bike was sliding around a lot at the start of the day and I was struggling to get a feel for it but we gradually adapted. We did a lot of testing with the clutch, engine brake and electronics. We also tested two new front tyres which in theory we’ll be using from now on and I liked them a lot. We wanted to protect engine life by just using one bike today. My team-mate was very fast today but I knew that would be the case because he has been excellent all preseason. On one hand it’s tough to take seeing him going so well but on the other it is a huge motivation because we’re on the same bike. It means that if we keep working like we are now we can be up there too.”
Source: Team Aspar