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Catalunya MotoGP: Espargaro closing the CRT gap

By Stephen J. Carter

Since the opening 2013 MotoGP round in Qatar, Aleix Espargaro has made his intentions clear to retain the top privateer title.

Aided by the advent of the softer rear tyre option for the CRTs this year, the Spaniard has consistently shown his class-leading form by reducing the gap to the lead riders.

A general comparison between the closing four rounds of the *2012 season and the five rounds so far this season (pictured) shows Espargaro closing the gap to P1 from an average of 62.75s (2012) to 53.40s (2013).

Last time at Mugello, Espargaro crossed the line in eighth place, 39.802s behind Jorge Lorenzo - the smallest time gap yet for a CRT rider to the race winner.

While Aspar Aprilia team-mate Randy de Puniet already has a test contract in place with Suzuki, Espargaro's form means that he is also being linked with the factory's planned 2014 MotoGP return.

“It is true that has been some contact with Suzuki, but they have not decided yet if they will return to the championship or not,” Espargaro told MotoGP.com. “It is a very exciting project, it is a factory and it would be an official MotoGP bike.”

*Rounds 14-17, round 18 (Valencia) excluded due to changeable track conditions.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro closing the gap (Pic: Stephen J. Carter).
De Puinet, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Schwantz, Yoshimura Suzuki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
De Puinet, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Brivio, Schwantz, De Puniet, Aoki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Schwantz, De Puniet, Aoki, Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Suzuki MotoGP test, Circuit of the Americas, 2014.
Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit (pic: Dromo)
Kevin Schwantz rides Suzuki MotoGP machine (Pic: Suzuki)
Kevin Schwantz tests Suzuki MotoGP bike (Pic: Suzuki).
Wayne Rainey
Hayden, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Hayden, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Redding, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Bautista, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014
Bautista, Grand Prix of the Americas 2014

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John DeMontfort

June 13, 2013 2:02 PM

It's hardly a surprise the gap is being diminished. Everything is being done by Dorna to dumb-down the prototypes and this will only continue with further fuel restrictions, standard ecu's, rev limits and less tyre choice. Whatever happened to the concept that racing was about the fastest and the best? Now of course, it is just a 'show'.

lDylan

June 13, 2013 2:57 PM

let's not get excited just yet. we all know the gap is smaller only because bridgestone has a special tyre for the CRT teams with more grip and stability. the race everyone was expecating Espargaro to do really well because it started raining when he started in 9th I think he dropped like a stone in the ocean behind the other protos because the rain tire was same to all. CRTs isust a way for dorna to fool people into believing there are more bikes racing than there's really.



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