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Monday, February 26, 2024

Espargaro “didn’t take pleasure in” dangers for “loopy” Catalan MotoGP pole lap

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The Aprilia rider had damaged the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya lap report throughout third follow on Saturday morning, solely to go even quicker throughout qualifying with a 1m38.742s to take pole place by 0.031s from Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

The house hero, who gained from pole place earlier this 12 months in Argentina, had hoped a slower lap with much less danger would’ve been sufficient for high spot however after seeing Bagnaia dip into the 1m38s he upped the ante to say pole and one other new lap report.

Consequently Espargaro feared he was on the restrict in qualifying, which was demonstrated when he ran off-track at Flip 10 throughout his closing flying lap, solely to carry on to pole when his rivals couldn’t higher his time.

“It has been essentially the most tough lap of all season thus far, the circumstances have been tremendous, tremendous difficult,” Espargaro mentioned in parc ferme instantly after qualifying. “I used to be speaking with the group and I used to be unsure whether or not to go beneath the 1m39s, so then with the primary time assault I noticed many riders into the 1m39.0s, so I needed to go 1m38s if I wished the pole place so it was all or nothing.

“I did a fully loopy lap, sliding in every single place and really, I didn’t benefit from the lap, I used to be on the restrict at each single nook and once I activated the rear rideheight machine on the final straight I mentioned, ‘You closed the lap, you’re a fortunate man’.

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“So once I noticed P1 I used to be much more joyful. Let’s see if this may give me a bonus for tomorrow’s race.”

Reflecting on qualifying within the press convention, Espargaro added: “I misplaced the entrance a few occasions and nearly had a few highsides however I used to be driving on the restrict of the bike.

“However the final two corners I did very, very quick, so I used to be very joyful to shut the lap and never crash. That was already a victory, so once I noticed P1 I used to be very joyful.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Workforce

Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro stays sturdy favorite for victory in Barcelona having demonstrated spectacular race tempo in follow, topping three of the 4 classes earlier than qualifying, because of the Aprilia’s capability to search out mechanical grip within the scorching and slippery circumstances.

The Spaniard can be assured that he’s discovered a greater set-up by way of his electronics throughout closing follow, however is cautious of discovering a “stability” between outright tempo and overusing his rear tyre too early within the race.

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“Usually, 90% of the races are gained by the quickest rider however right here in Barcelona it isn’t that simple, it isn’t about going quick, I can go very, very quick however you additionally must handle the rear tyre,” Espargaro mentioned.

“It’s a bit irritating as a result of there’s a sure second whenever you can not do something, there’s nothing you are able to do, simply speed up and watch for the bike to go, as a result of the bike and the traction management is stopping you a large number.

“In FP4 I attempted completely different digital settings to see if I misplaced numerous time or not by saving tyre and we’re fairly pleased with the outcomes. The tempo I did is sort of sturdy so tomorrow goes to be a stability to search out this skinny line between the pace and the consumption of the rear tyre.”

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