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Catalunya MotoGP: Espargaro to try FTR, corner-by-corner electronics

"At the moment we have one engine map for all of the track. We cannot play corner-by-corner" - Aleix Espargaro.
Aleix Espargaro will try what he hopes will be a significant update to the Magneti-Marelli Open class control ECU software at Catalunya on Monday.

The official post-race test should also see the Spaniard try Forward Racing's own FTR-built frame for the first time.

“If it's not raining I want to focus on the new things from Magneti-Marelli,” said Espargaro. “At the moment we have one engine map for all of the track. We cannot play [with the engine settings] corner-by-corner.

“So Magneti are working really hard and tomorrow they will give us something to try that we can play a little bit in all corners. We can do separate maps. Which is interesting because in the fast corners and in the slow corners the difference with the traction is really big.

“If we have time it is almost sure that we will also try the Forward frame.”

The Spaniard is dominating the new Open category with the 2013 Yamaha engine and chassis package and has unsurprisingly expressed reservations about moving away from the Japanese equipment.

However Yamaha are thought to be unwilling to continue the frame and swingarm supply beyond this year, with team-mate Colin Edwards starting race development of the Forward frame two races ago at Mugello.

“I have a really good relationship with Colin. We talk a lot and he says he cannot feel a big difference,” said Espargaro. “It's not easy to do a frame better than Yamaha. I'll try and see how it feels.”

Espargaro was speaking after finishing sixth in his home Catalunya round on Sunday.

“I'm happy not so much with the position but the gap to the top riders, 12 or 13 seconds, which is good,” he said. “But it's a bit frustrating because on the straight a lot of riders overtook me and during the first lap I was twelfth.

“Today the top speed of the bike was quite fast, but when we start we go from first to fifth and I think the other riders around me all have the seamless gearbox.

“Then I overtook some riders, arrived in sixth place and pushed like hell to try to catch the group in front. I gained a few tenths but it was impossible. I really would have liked to stay with them because the pace was similar, but anyway sixth is nice.

“Looking ahead I think Assen and Sachsenring can be better. Assen is one of my favourite tracks and then Sachsenring is a really tight track.”

Espargaro is now seventh in the world championship and just four points behind rookie brother Pol on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.

Tagged as: Yamaha , Espargaro

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June 16, 2014 8:12 AM

teknic: If anyone deserves a factory ride, its this guy. Boot Pedrosa off and give the ride to Aleix.
Yeah boot Pedrosa off after his performance this weekend? The guy whos given Honda 25 of its 100 GP 4 Stroke wins replaced by a guy whos had 1 podium and 0 wins in 11 years.... Seems logical.


June 16, 2014 5:48 PM

Extreme thoughts here...... Aleix still has to demonstrate something on a decent bike. He hasnt got the chance to do that in the recent years, were it seems he has grown up as a racer. He deserves a chance. Dani is a great racer who has ups and downs, but everyone counts him as a challenger for the win on every track. I don't think Honda will take the risk. It does not make sense. Maybe Suzuki? perhaps a satellite bike?. Who knows, but if he continues with the current form, we will see changes next season.

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