Aleix Espargaro finished today’s opening day of MotoGP free practice in Catalunya ninth overall, but did top FP1 ahead of his home GP. 

The Aprilia rider finished FP2 with an identical lap time as his brother Pol Espargaro, which was just shy of eight tenths away from pacesetter Johann Zarco

Something that quickly became apparent was the lack of grip riders had out on track throughout the day. 

Espargaro went further than calling it a ’lack of grip’, as he said the track was ‘like riding on ice’. 

"It’s difficult to understand why. The grip is very low and looks like you are riding on ice," added Espargaro. 

"It’s difficult also to analyse soft, medium, hard (tyres). Everybody is doing the same lap time. For example with the soft I made a mistake but it was a little bit better than I expected so I didn’t push so much the first lap. 

"I did more or less the same lap time on the three laps, so you have to be more aggressive from the beginning because then the tyre drops. But also the front... I don’t understand the front tyre location. 

"Between the soft and medium there is no difference and then the difference between medium and hard.... I don’t know. We have to analyse and you can spot on track the difference between FP1 and FP2 - many black lines on track which means we are putting rubber on track. 

"Overall, it wasn’t a bad day. Today we were forced to ride more mileage engines because we have to save some cases on the good ones. 

"Tomorrow I will have the new engine that I use on qualifying in Mugello, so I’m sure that tomorrow we can fight for top six in FP3 and the qualifying." 

Espargaro was also seen shaking out his right arm towards the end of FP2 - the same one he had arm pump surgery on. 

Espargaro said the arm is feeling ‘not bad’, but that he has a lot of built up liquid in it. 

The 31 year-old said: "Regarding the arm, I’m happy about the feeling that is not bad. A little bit better than in Jerez, but unfortunately I’m making a lot of liquid in the arm. It's pushing a lot. 

"To ride it’s difficult because I felt worse and the liquid is huge so it’s even worse. But it’s dangerous to remove liquid every time. I did it four times in Mugello and the doctors are not happy to do it again. 

"So now I’m riding with a lot of liquid in the arm, and looks like tomorrow I will be forced to ride like this. Before the race I will be able to remove the liquid."