POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders once again fastest in the new MotoGP group. Espargaró places twelfth, 63 thousandths of a second ahead of De Puniet
After he had led the way in all three of the practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix, it had looked as if Jorge Lorenzo was going to take an easy pole position at Mugello on Saturday afternoon. However, the top spot went to Dani Pedrosa, as the World Championship leader suffered an electronic issue on his last attempt at pole. Cal Crutchlow had also joined in the fun during the session, but in the end it was an all-Spanish front row for the first time in premier class history: Pedrosa ahead of Lorenzo and Héctor Barberá.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders established a pace in the 1’49s -one which once again put them at the head of the pack for the CRT competitors. Aleix Espargaró had given his teammate Randy De Puniet a warning that he was gunning for the top spot in yesterday’s practice sessions and it was he who finished highest up of the duo, with a time of 1’49.387. Thus the Spaniard will start from twelfth on the grid in Italy. De Puniet has been the highest placing CRT at the past two rounds and was in excellent form on Saturday, but also experienced an issue with his engine in qualifying that prevented any further improvement. He was 63 thousandths of a second down on his teammate in thirteenth.
12th Aleix Espargaró 1.49.387 (21 laps): “I am happy, because we worked really well in qualifying and things went as we wanted. Honestly, I didn’t feel as comfortable as I had this morning. I was a little faster in the final practice session and everything was more fluid, then this afternoon the temperature rose and I had to fight to drop tenths off my times. The important thing is that, after a lot of work, we got a fast lap in that was the quickest of the CRT riders. I think that Randy and I are running a similar pace and are ready to fight in the race to be the top CRT finisher; it seems like we are just a step ahead of the rest, but we can’t relax because everyone improves on Sundays. We have to keep calm and give our all”.
13th Randy De Puniet 1.49.450 (20 laps): “Our performance in the first stint of the qualifying session was fantastic. In the second run we tried a new tyre, then we went back to the used tyres to confirm our feelings with the setup. Everything was working perfectly and then we decided to go out on the soft tyre. When I got on track, the bike broke down. I tried to carry on, but I think that it was a terminal failure -we still have to check this. It is a shame, because I had put in some very fast times from the start and I’m convinced that I could have gone substantially quicker. In any case, I am very motivated for the race, because we have an excellent pace and I feel good on the bike. I suppose it is better that we suffered today’s setback now, rather than during the race itself.”