First MotoGP top ten brings joy for Espargaró

espargaro first top ten in motogp
Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Pramac Racing rider saw his hard work over the course of the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France pay off with an encouraging result at Le Mans.

Aleix Espargaró rounded off a positive Monster Energy Grand Prix de France weekend with ninth place in the race, his first top-ten finish in the premier class and a result which was the reward of lots of hard work on his Ducati of the Pramac Racing team.

The Spanish rider lost two places after the race started from his position of tenth on the grid, but recovered to climb back up the field and was just three-tenths of a second behind fellow rookie Héctor Barberá who took eighth place.

"I am very happy with the outcome of the race, and it is by far my best result in MotoGP,” said Espargaró. “I've had a great rhythm on this track since Friday, and I'm looking forward to the next race already so I can try and get a better result. I didn’t have a great start, but I found my rhythm, going a few tenths faster than the riders in front of me.”

He continued: “I managed to cover the gap to the riders in front and found myself in the group that was fighting for eighth place. After a few laps I passed Aoyama and on the second-last lap I saw the error made by Edwards and passed him, as well as Simoncelli. It was a shame I had a small contact with Aoyama three corners before the finish line, which gave the advantage to Barberà and I could not pass him. However I have great confidence for the next race and hope to improve further."

On the other side of the Pramac garage it was a more difficult weekend for Mika Kallio, who had a crash in practice on Saturday and injured his shoulder. The Finn rode bravely to 13th place in the race, and hopes to be fully recovered before the next round at Mugello in two weeks.

"The shoulder pain prevented me from being competitive, despite the painkillers they gave me an hour before the race,” said Kallio. “From the pits my technicians indicated to me that some riders had retired, so I clenched my teeth to make sure I finished the race and brought home some valuable points. I hope I don’t have any more shoulder problems for the next race and that it will be a good weekend from start to finish."

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