Espargaró and De Puniet start the year as fastest CRTs

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Power Electronics Aspar riders picked up from where they left off at the end of 2012, and were again the top dogs of the CRT competitors in Sepang.

Aleix Espargaró was quickest of the CRTs and 14th fastest overall, with a best time of 2.03’782. Teammate Randy De Puniet was just behind him with a fastest lap of 2.04’283. There are three more CRT riders than last year, adding up to twelve at the test.  

Espargaró and De Puniet had a new swingarm and chassis available to them for the Malaysian test and, whilst the Frenchman tried out everything on Day 1, Espargaró chose to leave chassis testing for another day. Both riders were on track early and stayed out until the end, with only a brief break at 2pm providing a respite from the short stints. Espargaró's final time was 2.5 seconds off the overall fastest and De Puniet's 3 seconds.

Aleix Espargaró

"We started very early this morning; I think we were the first out on track. We tried a swingarm and also had the new chassis ready, although I decided not to use it today and instead have today as a more general ride. Our starting setup was the same as for the final race of last year. I wanted to regain my feel for the bike after the winter break. The first morning stint was hard, as after so long away it felt strange to be back on a GP bike. However, from the second stint on I began to feel much more comfortable. We did a lot of short runs of no more than 5 laps. I am happy to have been the fastest CRT here, as it is our obligation to continue on top like last year. The difference between us and the rest of the riders isn't huge, so I am satisfied."

Randy de Puniet

"We started off with the base setting from last year. I tried out the new 2013 swingarm again, which I had been able to test out in Valencia and liked a lot. Here, however, I found it more difficult to get a good feeling with it. As a result, we went back to the standard swingarm and I felt more comfortable. We stopped afterwards in order to attach the 2013 chassis, which in theory only worked with the new swingarm but which we were able to combine with last year's. We'll see what we can do tomorrow with this combination. Just like in October, we felt a lot of chatter with the front end at certain points on the track. The aim for the remaining two days is to get rid of that. We made the most of today from start to finish, the feeling is good after the winter break and I am very pleased to be back riding."

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