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Top CRT Espargaro 0.133s from Rossi

Aleix Espargaro qualifies eleventh, just 0.133s from eighth place Valentino Rossi
Aspar Aprilia riders Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet experienced contrasting fortunes in the closing stages of Saturday's qualifying session at Aragon.

Espargaro briefly reached as high as ninth after setting a lap time just 1.678s from pole on his CRT-spec Aprilia.

Although pushed back to eleventh by the end of the session, the Spaniard was delighted with his performance - which saw him out-qualify the manufacturer prototypes of Alvaro Bautista (Honda) and Karel Abraham (Ducati).

Espargaro also qualified just 0.133s behind eighth place factory Ducati star Valentino Rossi.

"I am delighted with our performance today, this weekend has been fabulous,” said Espargaro. “In the dry qualifying I felt comfortable from the start and pushed hard with the last soft tyre.

“I think we've set a genuinely fast fast time, and hopefully tomorrow we can continue the same. It will be a difficult race because we could not test the hard tyres and the softs degrade quickly.

“I hope we can have a dry warm-up and decide which tyres to use during the race. "

In a less celebratory mood was de Puniet, who looked set to continue his battle with Espargaro for top CRT honours - only to miss out on a crucial last run due to technical problems, dropping him to 13th on the grid.

"I'm a little disappointed, because I had a chance of the third or fourth row of the grid,” said the Frenchman. “Our times have been fast and consistent pace, but with just two laps to the end, we have suffered a technical problem.

“It's a shame as we could have been the best CRT. On the other hand, we must be optimistic and it is better to have these things to happen today, not tomorrow during the race."

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September 30, 2012 9:52 AM
Last Edited 852 days ago

Randy is indeed fast, but only in bursts. Over a full race whatever the bike he has never shown the sort of consistent pace to be a regular podium sitter. That's not to say he couldn't develop that pace and a couple of seasons on a slow bike could well be the way to achieve that. Trying to keep up on a slower bike does tend to improve your riding, just so long as you don't get disillusioned. The problem being that when you've had your chance once it's harder to get another. Espargaro OTOH is an exciting prospect since he's an unknown quantity on a full fat MotoGP bike. I think he stands more chance of an MSMA ride that Randy.

CRT no more ? - Unregistered

September 30, 2012 4:19 AM

give this guy a good bike maybe bautistas? randy is an amazing experienced moto gp rider and Aleix keeps out performing him on the same bike, so this tells me he is the real deal

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