After a dream performance with the new Aprilia RS-GP at the opening Qatar MotoGP test, Aleix Espargaro experienced a 'very difficult' start to the second test in the form of technical issues and an accident.

But despite logging only 31 laps, the Spaniard was again in contention at the top of the timesheets, eventually classified in sixth place (+0.788s), between younger brother Pol on a Repsol Honda and ahead of Suzuki's reigning champion Joan Mir.

"I had some technical problems and I was not able to ride so much and then at the end, when I fitted the new tyre, I was in '54 low on the first lap and the second lap I crashed in corner four I think," Espargaro said.

"So it has been a difficult day. I'm not happy about how we worked today. We couldn't follow the programme and we couldn’t try everything that I want to try because I just did 31 laps.

"We couldn't try especially the geometry, things that it was in mind to try. I still struggle a lot in the fast corners to make the bike turn and it's already day 3 and we did not improve on this side.

"I started at 3pm, one of the first on track, but due to the technical problem I was then stopped until close to 6 in the afternoon. So we didn’t have enough time to try everything and this is why I'm not happy about the day.

"But on a very difficult day to still finish sixth is very important, because with the level of the category not every day is going to be a very good day, going to be easy. So I'm glad to finish sixth on a very difficult day, this is also something to be proud."

Espargaro said he is especially impressed by the lap times so far given that the former soft compound tyre used at the Losail circuit has been removed from the allocation.

"It's quite curious what's happening this year because Michelin removed the soft option tyre, the soft option spec that we have during this test and we will have in the race is the medium of last year – but we are flying!" he said.

"Today six riders were under 1m 54 with the medium tyre and tomorrow I think I will do a race simulation, but also some others and I'm sure we will see very very fast simulations. So yes the grip is not fantastic but the lap times are very very fast and maybe tomorrow if the weather conditions are not bad we could see a first 1m 52 in Qatar."

Meanwhile, the tough nature of his day meant Espargaro also declined to comment further on the social media tussle with Jorge Lorenzo.

"No, I don't like this guy, I don’t want to talk about him. I'm sorry, I know I always answer [all questions] but I've had a difficult day with some technical problems, with a small crash and sincerely I don’t like anything of Jorge. Nothing. So I don’t want to talk about him!" he said.



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