MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro heads to Aragon holding sixth in the world championship and the leading satellite competitor.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider is six points clear of older brother and Open class leader Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha) but a solid 24 points ahead of satellite rivals Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and team-mate Bradley Smith.

Pol has claimed a best finish of fifth twice so far this year and is eager to get on track in front of the Spanish fans at Aragon, where he has won in both Moto2 and 125cc.

"It's always great racing in my home country so this weekend will be one to remember for sure. I really enjoy the style and the corners of this track, which are just simply superb as well as being great fun to ride," Espargaro said.

"I am very keen to get going especially as I have won twice here in the 'lower leagues' so I am confident of a strong result this weekend aboard the Yamaha.

"The past few races have been productive but there's still work to be done, as I'm still a bit off the leading factory riders. I am determined to get a good result before we head outside of Europe, so I will try nothing but my best here this weekend.

"Realistically I think we can at least be battling for the leading satellite bike once again and I can't wait to experience the track and especially the last corner on a MotoGP bike!"

Smith will look to undertake another confident race result this weekend by closing in on the top six with the Yamaha YZR-M1 after a positive ride at the previous round in Misano.

Smith hasn't finished in the top six for the past three rounds, something he aims to change on Sunday.
"This weekend I intend to firmly reinstate myself within the top six at the MotorLand Aragon circuit which is really something special and has produced some great races for the fans in recent years," he said.

"It was good to bring the bike home in seventh at the last race to give me some confidence for this round and the final part of the season even though, for sure, I am aiming to be higher.

"I have had some strong runs here before and seventh last year as a rookie was positive but I'll certainly be gunning for more this time around. The sweeping corners suit the YZR-M1, therefore I remain fully confident in my ability so I look forward to the challenge as always and pushing myself to the limit to do my best for the team and Yamaha."

Team manager Herv? Poncharal added: "Both riders are doing a great job and as the final part of the season begins we know what we can do and remain resolute in battling to get the leading satellite team title by the end of the year."



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