Pol Espargaro: "We can get 100% from the bike"

The KTM rider found some serious pace on the opening day in Jerez

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was a man on form on the opening day at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, ending FP1 in a phenomenal third and eventually rounding out Friday in P10 – provisionally qualifying for an automatic Q2 spot. This great pace comes a couple of days after it was announced he would stay with the Austrian factory until the end of 2020 at least, and understandably, the Spaniard was delighted to be back racing on home soil.

“I'm super happy to arrive in Europe. We knew it’s always better than overseas races for us, we have more info and both KTM and I have done more laps on these tracks,” opened the number 44 rider. “Everything becomes simpler here in Europe and especially in Jerez where we’ve done quite a lot of testing since the beginning of this project. Everything is more controlled and we can get 100% from the bike.”

Getting 100% from the bike was clearly what the 2013 Moto2™ World Champion did, as all the riders got to grips with the circuit's new asphalt. Helping KTM and Espargaro this weekend is Mika Kallio, as the Finn tests a 2019 spec bike – something that is already getting the 26-year-old excited. 

“We can’t compare so much with Mika because he’s using quite a different bike to us, the new bike for next year and it looks like the performance is super,” said an upbeat Espargaro. “We tried it here a month ago when I was here before Argentina and Texas and it was feeling super good, so Mika is using it here. We think there’s a big step on that bike, and to have one more bike on the track is always nice for us. We have more info to play with!”

With added data being available to the KTM team, Espargaro is in a great position to fight it out for a top ten in qualifying. Will the Spaniard battle in Q2 for the second race in a row?

Find out on Saturday, as qualifying for the premier class gets underway at 14:10 local time (GMT +2).