Sunday’s Gran Premio bwin de España saw Aleix Espargaro retain his 100% record as the leading CRT runner for the 2013 season so far. Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet was less content, having crashed out of the race at Jerez.
Qualifying 13th on Saturday, Espargaro found himself the second-best CRT runner on the grid behind tenth-placed Hector Barbera of Avintia Blusens. However the tables were turned on Sunday as the former powered in front of his struggling rival.
“Today I had a beautiful race,” Espargaro began. “Honestly, yesterday I was not happy with myself for missing Q2; I knew that here we could be very fast and not reaching the level expected was something that upset me. However, I still knew that here was where I had the best pace. 'Aspar' (team owner Jorge Martinez) told me on the grid to keep calm, as that was the best way to have a good race, but I must admit that when I saw that I was just behind Dovizioso I went for it.
“I am very happy; it's great to finish a race so high up and with such great feelings. I was even able to pass him (Dovizioso) on a couple of occasions. It really was a tough race, in which we finished with the tyres destroyed and sliding all over the place on the last laps. It was worth it, though. In all of the three races so far we have managed to reduce the gap to the first few riders, so every day we are performing at a higher level. I am very happy because we are doing things very well.”
Teammate de Puniet suffered a shorter and more frustrating afternoon, having crashed out of contention on the third tour.
“It was a shame about the crash today because I had started the race well,” the Frenchman began. “At Turn 9 (Angel Nieto curve), when releasing the brakes, I lost the front. On the previous lap I had been given a couple of warnings, so I tried to stop the bike as smoothly as possible, but when I lost it there was nothing I could do. I made a mistake and that made me lose the bike.
“The conditions remained tough; it was very hot and the tyres suffered greatly. In fact, we saw several very similar crashes from other riders. We knew yesterday that the race would be difficult, although we weren't expecting it to finish like that. We had done an excellent job over the weekend and now we have to move on and think about Le Mans.”
De Puniet in particular will be keen to enjoy a positive outing in France in two weekends’ time, as he contests his home Grand Prix at the historic venue.