Series rookie Pol Espargaro gained a valuable insight into how to ride a MotoGP bike in the wet when the heavens opened for FP2 at Brno on Friday afternoon.
The Spanish prospect had not yet had the chance to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in fully wet conditions, but Espargaro sat in behind team-mate Bradley Smith and quickly upped his pace to set the eighth fastest time in the tricky conditions in 2m 09.412s.
He had briefly topped the times in FP1 before dropping to ninth overall in the dry session, but Espargaro says he has plenty to be happy about ahead of Sunday's 11th round of the MotoGP in the Czech Republic.
“It has been quite an eventful first day here in Brno and we collected a lot of useful information for the weekend. This afternoon has been the first time that we could test the bike in full wet conditions and the truth is that I'm really happy about how the session went,” said the reigning Moto2 world champion.
“The grip with the rain tyres is amazing and I nearly touched the ground with my elbow even though it was wet. I have to thank Bradley because I did many laps behind him and I learnt a lot about the line and how smooth I have to ride with the wet surface by following him.
“I rode some competitive lap times and the rhythm was consistent as well, so of course there is room to improve but we have started in a positive fashion.”
Reflecting on FP1, Espargaro feels he needs to adapt his riding style to suit the Brno circuit and plans to adopt a less aggressive approach on Saturday.
“During this morning's session, I was probably riding a bit too aggressively and in a way that the Yamaha should not be ridden around this track so I think we can certainly be much faster,” he said.
“Moreover we have struggled in a few areas, for example at the exit of the corner where the bike is sliding quite a lot and overall I'm lacking a bit of grip at the moment, but for sure we can resolve this issue for tomorrow.
“During FP2 we actually planned to try the harder tyre compound which I felt very confident with in Indianapolis but the session turned out to be a wet one, so we will have to wait until tomorrow.”
Espargaro's fastest dry lap of 1m 57.643s was 0.831s behind pacesetter Marc Marquez and 0.182s quicker than team-mate Smith.