Espargaró starts strong with second, Rabat satisfied with work, Pons angry about bad setup
Pol Espargaró posted the second-fastest laptime on the first day of practice for the Gran Prix of Catalunya, only bested by Swiss rider Tom Lüthi, the only one capable to break into the 1’46s. The local hero from Granollers did his best lap in the morning session and was also within the front trio in the afternoon.
Tito Rabat and Axel Pons finished the first day in 11th and 18th, respectively. Both of them posted their fastest laptime in the morning when the temperature was much lower and the performance of the bike ideal.
2. POL ESPARGARÓ, 1.47.133 “I’m really happy with how we started this weekend of my home race, although we have to keep working because we’re second but half a second behind Lüthi. We struggled a bit to get on the pace and we already discarded one tyre compound, because it creates immense chatter. The change of temperature made everything a little more difficult, with a big difference between the morning session where we did the best laptime and the afternoon. Tomorrow we keep working and I hope to get a good position on the grid.”
11. TITO RABAT, 1.47.826 “It’s been a very tough but at the same time very positive first day of practice where we did many tests with the chassis and tyres and we could sort out many options. For tomorrow I’m convinced we can make a step forward in the qualifying and improve the laptime, the goal being the first two rows on the grid. Racing at home is always an extra motivation and I’m very eager to dedicate a good race to my supporters and all the fans.”
18. AXEL PONS, 1.48.100 “I finished this morning’s practice satisfied, both because of the laptime and the pace despite a problem with the gearbox, but this afternoon’s session angry, because the bike didn’t go well at all and on the straight everyone just blasted past me. Tomorrow we’ll return to the first configuration and I hope to get on the rows on the grid which will be fighting for points.”
Source: Pons Racing