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Austin MotoGP: Espargaro keeps satellite duo at bay
22 April 2013
Aleix Espargaro finished the Austin MotoGP as the top CRT rider for the second race in succession with an inspired ride to 11th place.
The Power Electronics rider kept his ART ahead of the satellite Yamaha YZR-M1 of Bradley Smith and Ben Spies on the Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati to boost his points tally for the season to ten at the Circuit of the Americas.
After qualifying ninth, Espargaro managed to open up a three-second advantage over Smith and Spies, which he maintained for much of the race, eventually finishing ahead of Smith by almost two seconds.
“I am very happy that we went again had a complete weekend.
“I made a good start and was able to overtake [Nicky] Hayden, [Andrea] Iannone and [Alvaro] Bautista off the line, but they got back ahead of me,” said Espargaro.
“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.”
Espargaro said he was forced to dig deep to keep his nose ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha's Smith, who applied the pressure in the closing stages.
“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.
“I am very satisfied with the work we are doing, everything is working perfectly and we are still the reference point for the CRT competition.”
Espargaro's team-mate, Randy de Puniet, was 14th.