Espargaro still striving to beat prototypes

Espargaro still striving to beat prototypes
Monday, 22 April 2013

Aleix Espargaro finished 11th in Sunday’s inaugural Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, comfortably sealing his second consecutive top spot amongst the CRT runners. However the Spaniard is still pushing hard to mix it with the prototype bikes.

Three positions and almost half a minute ahead of Power Electronics Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet, Espargaro also finished ahead of prototype-equipped riders Bradley Smith and Ben Spies, but was pushing hard in a bid to catch Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone.

“I am very happy that again had a complete weekend,” the Spaniard begins. “I made a good start and was able to overtake Hayden, Iannone and Bautista off the line, but they got back ahead of me. Although I did not lose sight of my goal, which was to be the top CRT, I admit that I tried to pursue them and keep on their tails. It just wasn't possible.

“The initial push helped me to gain an advantage over Smith and Spies. The truth is that I had a hard time keeping them at bay, as I could see them gradually approaching, but fortunately I was able to manage the three-second advantage obtained in the first part of the race. Smith did not give me a second's respite and in a way I am grateful to him for that - because it forced me to push to the maximum and be very focused throughout the race.”

De Puniet is also content, but knows more was possible in Texas on Sunday.

“In the end we ended the weekend positively, but a similar thing happened to us as in Qatar,” says the Frenchman. “We struggled to find the right direction. I got me the impression that we were always a session behind Aleix. Our problems were mainly due to the lack of confidence in the front. We planned a change in the rear suspension for the Warm-Up session, but the track was too cold and we could not gain good conclusions from it.

“Although during the race the temperature had risen greatly, I preferred not to take any risks. I started well and I slotted in behind Smith, but there was almost a collision with another rider and I had to brake really hard - allowing other riders to pass. I was stuck with a group of riders for five laps and they slowed me down. I got away from them and upped my pace, before reaching Hernandez. We were the second best CRT once again, which isn't a bad result, but we have to continue working in order to be more competitive.”

MotoGP will return to Jerez for the Gran Premio bwin de España in a fortnight’s time, where Espargaro finished 12th and de Puniet failed to finish last year.

TAGS Americas

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