Espargaro loses CRT after technical problem forces him to retire from Misano Grand Prix
Today at Misano a problem for Karel Abraham delayed the start of the MotoGP race, with a yellow flag waved in order to avoid any safety issues. As nerves spread down the start/finish straight Dani Pedrosa also experienced a problem and had to pull away, meaning he was then relegated to the back of the grid for the restarted race. His title rival Jorge Lorenzo made the most of the situation and pulled away at the front from the beginning. That was not the end of the drama though as shortly after the end of the first lap Hector Barberá took Pedrosa out of the equation. The Spanish pair were not the only ones to crash out, in a race which saw just 15 riders reach the finishing line. Indeed the contest produced several crashes and proceedings were dominated by Lorenzo as the balance of the World Championship shifted in his favour, whilst there was a welcome second placed finish for Valentino Rossi in his home GP. Rossi beat Alvaro Bautista in a photo finish on the line on what was anything but an average Sunday.
For POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar both riders could have had better luck when they both truly deserved to be at the front of the CRT battle. De Puniet was impeded from the first lap after receiving a blow from another rider, but he was soon back in the thick of it, chasing down his teammate Aleix, catching up with him by lap six. After following his colleague’s moves for ten laps De Puniet made his decision to overtake, but Aleix countered the Frenchman and fought back. It looked as though the pair would fight for CRT supremacy in the final stages, but with four laps to go the Catalan rider was forced out with a technical issue, leaving De Puniet to cross the line on his own, in ninth place. In gaining seven more points De Puniet takes the lead in the CRT standings, three points ahead of Espargaró.
Aleix Espargaró (retired – DNF): “It was a real shame to have the problem as I’d got away well. It was tough to get into race pace in the early stages but lap by lap I was getting more comfortable. Today I was quicker than I had been earlier in the weekend and once my teammate caught me I was able to fight properly with him. Once he overtook me I was riding smoothly and waiting to attack but with seven laps to go I noticed an engine fault and four laps from the end I had to stop on the final straight. If I had not had that problem I would still be provisional CRT leader, but now is not the time to worry about that. There are five race to go and we need to keep fighting.”
Source: Aspar Team press Release