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MotoGP Misano: Espargaro 'can't wait to ride' on new Misano surface,

Aleix Espargaro says new surface “one of the best I ever tried”, reveals he lapped a second faster than existing lap record during summer test
Aleix Espargaro has said the new Misano race surface is “one of the best I ever tried” as he aims to get his 2015 MotoGP season back on track at the Grand Prix of San Marino.

The elder Espargaro brother tested his Suzuki GSX-RR at the track situated on the Adriatic Coast after the German round of the season and sampled the new surface, which was re-laid over the off-season, for the first time.

Despite riding in searing summer temperatures his first impressions of the new surface and tweaked layout were positive.

“The new surface was fantastic,” he said on Thursday. “One of the best I ever tried. There are no bumps, just in one corner. The rest was good. Also we tested with more track temperature than in Malaysia and the grip was so high. I think the temperature was 62 degrees one day that we tested. Unbelievable.

“The grip was quite good so I think they did a good job. The only question mark is that it is so dark in case of rain it's going to be difficult to understand which part is getting dry. It was definitely much better.”

Espargaro and team-mate Maverick Viñales shared the track with the Repsol Honda and 'Factory' Ducati teams. Times on the new surface were positive with the 26-year old claiming his final time was a full second under the existing lap record.

However, that positive came with the caveat of Honda's times. The fastest HRC machine, Espargaro revealed, was a further two seconds faster than his Suzuki.

“I can't wait to ride here. We're new this year so we loose a lot of time every weekend to set up the bike and get the right settings. As we did a test here before the summer break we have some information.

“So I think we're going to be closer. In the test we were competitive apart from Honda. The Honda was unbelievably fast but with Ducati we were quite close. I think we were around one second faster than the lap record. The problem was Honda was almost three seconds faster. We will see.”

Asked whether he felt tyre life could be an issue on the hot, grippy asphalt, Espargaro said there was not a great difference between the hard and soft option rubber.

“Even with the soft tyre we were quite surprised because I was able to do some laps. Even with the soft and hard there was not so much difference, similar times. With the soft we could do a lot of laps. I think it's going to be so different because it's more cool than in the test. We'll see if the grip will change or not.

“We lose a lot of acceleration so if we carry a little bit more speed in the corner then it will help the bike a lot. With the new surface this is much better.”

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September 10, 2015 6:06 PM

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