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Espargaró: “Moto2 is my category”

Espargaró: “Moto2 is my category”

The Pons Racing rider is preparing for his debut season in the intermediate class in 2011, and is convinced it is the category in which he can best realise his potential.

Aleix Espargaró’s initiation into Moto2 continued this week at the Catalunya Circuit, where the Spaniard rode for two days at the private Test as he continued his adaptation to the Pons Kalex machine he will ride this season.

Preparing for the first major Test of the year which commences at Valencia on Thursday and which lasts for three days, Espargaró was able to further establish his base ideas of the Moto2 machine as the pre-season intensity begins to pick up.

“I’m happy, the feeling with the bike is a unique one and that’s something that was missing after a long time without riding,” said Espargaró, whose best lap was a 1’48.4 across both days. “It went pretty well, we tried out lots of new things and, above all, we now know in which direction we have to work. The rear of the bike has a lot of grip but I’m not that comfortable with the front yet, it has a little bit of chatter. We have to move forward in Valencia, Portugal and Jerez – nine days of testing, and we’ll try to arrive in Qatar at 105%.”

The fact that Espargaró is stepping down from MotoGP to Moto2 this year is not something the 21 year-old sees as a regression. Having ridden in the premier class in 2010 with Pramac Racing he is hopeful of being able to use the experience gained to his advantage in the intermediate category with his Pons Racing team.

Using football as an analogy, Espargaró said: “I always say that when a team like Barcelona calls you, you cannot say no, even if you are perhaps not ready for it. This is what happened to me. I couldn’t say no to MotoGP, and in all honesty I wasn’t prepared.”

“I think Moto2 is my category. I have to continue learning. I learnt a great deal last year, that’s for sure, and I took some great things from MotoGP. Now I have to battle here and show that I can return to the top level.”

The example of Toni Elías is one which Espargaró has studied closely, after his fellow Catalan won the inaugural Moto2 title in 2010 having stepped down from MotoGP – a category he has returned to for 2011.

However, Espargaró is well aware of the tough task ahead, and concluded by adding: “A lot of people say: ‘Toni stepped down a category and won’, but it’s not that easy. In the world of motorcycling two plus two does not always make four. You have to remember that Elías is a great rider who is very technical, one who has battled with Valentino on the last lap, something that not many can say they have done. It’s clear he is an example to follow. Toni’s achievement was a great one and our objective is the same.”

Moto2, 2011, Aleix Espargaro, Pons HP 40

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