14 June 2015
MotoGP Catalunya: Espargaro: Race a battle between front tyre and me
A bad start forced Aleix Espargaro to use up his front tyre in the early laps, ruling him out of battling for the podium before a crash ended his home grand prix
Elation on Saturday, dejection come Sunday. Aleix Espargaro suffered the extremities of emotion at his home round in Barcelona as he crashed out of fourth place in the Catalan MotoGP.
Starting from pole position for only the second time in his premier class career, Espargaro's fears of losing out on the run to turn one were founded as he was swamped on the run to turn one.
The 25-year old exited turn one in ninth yet once Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of potential podium positions, Espargaro found himself in third after a 'crazy three laps' of overtaking.
However, with Dani Pedrosa quickly advancing Espargaro was powerless to defend his position and serious front tyre wear thwarted the Catalan's attempts to challenge the 'Factory' Honda.
“I'm really frustrated,” said Suzuki's first pole sitter since Assen, 2007. “I started really good with first gear, and once I go inside the bike, everybody started to overtake me, and that moment, I was really angry. I felt that the bike was good today, so I pushed a lot even with the full tank, I overtake a lot of riders, I don't even remember where I overtook everybody. It was a crazy three laps.
“But then I felt that the front was already in the limit. It was so hot, the track was slippery, and I use a lot in the first five laps, so it was all race a battle between the front tire and me, I tried to follow Pedrosa, but it was almost impossible.”
The crash, which came at the downhill turn five, was the result of contact with a bump with just four laps remaining.
“I was not pushing so much, but I take a bump and I lose the front. Shame for the team and shame for me.”
While the spill clearly frustrated Espargaro, the distance between the Suzuki's race pace and the frontrunners was of greater concern. Asked if there were positives to take from the weekend he said, “Not so much!
“I don't care about the pole position. Race seven and again we are really far from the top guys in the race. I'm not here to finish the last of fast riders, I don't care to take points and finish sixth, seventh or eighth at half a minute. I want to be close to the podium. Today we are doing a great race, but too much in the limit. Seven races, one pole position, but this is not the objective. We still have two races before the summer break to improve.
“Both factory Yamahas were more stronger, but we were at a similar level to Honda and Ducati, so this is a big improvement for Suzuki. But then again, we didn't finish the race so [we're] still not at the same level as them. We need to finish close. I hope in the next races we can finish the races at the top.”
Aside from the terrible start and the crash, Espargaro was culpable for Cal Crutchlow's premature exit from the race on the first lap, for which he later apologised.
“I overtake Cal good, but then I lose the rear, and I don't know if I touch Cal. But definitely I saw him really close. So if I touch him, I know I will go now to speak with him really fast, because I am really sorry if I touch him. But believe me that I didn't know, but it's possible that I touched him, and I'm really sorry.”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.