Aleix Espargaro remains 'confident' he can still challenge for the podium in the Grand Prix of Spain, despite missing out on the front row in qualifying due to a costly spill.

The Spaniard headed up the timesheets after FP1 and FP2 on Friday, allowing him to spend FP3 and FP4 focusing on race set-up as he works to bring the Open class Forward Yamaha up to the pace of the factory bikes over a longer distance.

However, his hopes of taking advantage of the extra soft compound tyre in qualifying was nixed by a fall towards the end of the session, leaving him on row two in fifth.

Related Articles

Despite this, Espargaro maintains he has a good race package underneath him and remains optimistic he can take the fight to the factory riders.

"I'm satisfied as we worked very well in the FP3 and FP4 in preparation of the race. I have a good pace and I'm confident for tomorrow. It was a pity for the qualifying! I was lapping in 1'39.0 and I was missing a couple of tenths from Jorge and Valentino to be in front row so I pushed hard but I was at the limit and I lost the front.

"I'm disappointed but I tried it! It's not easy to beat the official bikes but we will keep on trying. For tomorrow the tyres will be a key element. We will use the hard option, it is not as hard as we would have wanted but this is what we have, so I'm not worried about it."