Excellent first day for Espargaro and Rabat at Qatar, Pons frustrated
The two riders of the Pons 40 HP Tuenti team ended the day in third and fourth position, only Tom Lüthi and Claudio Corti were faster, and both showed great race pace. Teammate Axel Pons was less fortunate and struggled with setup problems, ending the day far behind in 28th and with a lot of work still to be done.
3. POL ESPARGARÓ, 2.01.198 “I’m very happy to start the championship on the right foot, among the three fastest, but we know full well that we have to keep working, because these have only been two free practice sessions. I still have to refine my riding at some points of the track, where I can gain a few tenths, but the important thing is that I have a good overall pace and confirmed the preseason expectation of being in the lead group with Lüthi, Corti and Rabat, like at the last IRTA test. The heat complicates everything a little bit, but physically I’m fully prepared and confident for the race.”
4. TITO RABAT, 2.01.202 “These two first practice sessions went really well and let me look at tomorrow’s sessions with confidence. The front part of the bike, which has caused me many headaches at the last test in Jerez, didn’t give me any trouble and with just a slight adjustment it’ll be as perfect as the rest of the bike. My pace is good, the tyre wear is optimal and this makes me optimistic for the rest of the weekend.”
28. AXEL PONS, 2.04.347 “I’m really frustrated by how this first day of practice has gone. I lack confidence and couldn’t find the rhythm, despite having done a long run. I have to take a look at the telemetry with the engineers to correct the mistakes I’ve made and little by little get closer to the positions I’d like to be in, because at the moment we are really far behind.”
source: Pons Racing