Aleix Espargaro may have qualified a career best fourth on the grid for the Americas MotoGP, but the Spaniard admitted that it was only the softer Open tyre that allowed him to outpace the Factory Yamahas.

"It's not real, I'm a realistic guy and know that it's because of the soft tyre."

Espargaro starred at the season opening Qatar Grand Prix with the new Forward Yamaha consistently one of the fastest bikes on track, but this weekend has been a different story with Espargaro languishing in the midfield.

Related Articles

When asked why there was such a difference from one race to the next Espargaro said:

"We are struggling a lot here and I need to fight a lot with the bike in every corner and under braking. The bike is so unstable in the hard braking areas and I have use my body a lot to change direction is really difficult. My feeling with the hard rear tyre, my race tyre, is not good at all.

"This isn't a Yamaha track, it's a Honda track, but we are a bit far away from the Yamaha guys. We improved a little bit and with the soft tyre we did a great lap. Tomorrow though won't be as easy as I felt in Qatar."

The softer tyre gave a clear advantage in qualifying but is not a viable race tyre for tomorrow's 20 lap race. When asked by about the performance of the tyres on log runs Espargaro said:

"The tyres dropped a lot for everybody and on the hard rear it is the opposite to normal, usually when you put in the soft rear it pushes the front but here is the opposite. Here when I put in the hard rear I lose the front the whole time but we improved a little bit this afternoon. It's impossible to race the soft, in Qatar we could do two laps on it and here three or four."

In Qatar Espargaro crashed twice in qualifying and "destroyed one bike" and this weekend he plans to race an all new chassis:

"I started with my race bike in Qatar and I can now understand why I finished fourth in Qatar, it was my second bike and I don't like it at all, and with the new bike that we have I like it a lot and I'll use it tomorrow."

Despite Espargaro's stern assessment of his qualifying performance, he was three places ahead of the next best rider on the soft tyre (Ducati's Cal Cructhlow) and nine places in front of the next quickest Open competitor (Gresini Honda's Scott Redding).