Pol Espargaro to start Argentina race from 16th
After a long haul from Europe the majority of the paddock encountered a warm but unstable climate at the circuit over 1000km northwest from Buenos Aires. The KTM duo hovered around the top fifteen in the first Free Practice sessions, and FP3 Saturday morning was a tricky blend of wet and dry conditions with occasional light showers and humidity. Pol Espargaro posted a hot lap towards the end of the period to place a decent 7th and just 1.3 seconds from the fastest effort by world champion Marc Marquez.
Through FP4 and Q1 #44 and #38 maintained their push for drive and traction to harness all the power of the works KTM RC16. Espargaro encountered a technical hitch in FP4 that forced the Spaniard to use his second racebike for the beginning of Q1 and he couldn’t quite grasp the extra tenths of a second to slide into the top bracket as a damp track quickly began to try.
“It was a crazy day for us. I think it started quite well in the morning with P7 in mixed conditions and I was quite optimistic for qualifying but finally, similar to Qatar, we had an issue in FP4 and had to solve that. We didn’t have our No.1 bike ready for the first run and mechanics did an amazing job to have it ready for the second but we’d used our good front tyre already. We had to use the soft front and eventually finished one second away from my brother. It’s a shame because we did very well this morning and I hope we’d be closer to the top guys and go for Q2 but it was difficult. We hope for better luck for tomorrow.”