Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro believes Michelin could change its tyre compound considerably for next month’s MotoGP season opener in Qatar. 

Espargaro, who finished pre-season testing third, was one of the most consistent riders throughout both tests (Sepang and Mandalika), however, that hasn’t stopped the outspoken Spaniard from calling the Indonesian circuit ‘not ready to race at all’.

Espargaro’s statement came after day two of the Mandalika test on Saturday, while also saying the new circuit’s track conditions could play a role in Michelin changing their tyres for next month’s race.

When asked about testing and how much he thinks it helps preparations for Losail, Espargaro said: "This is a good question. At the beginning my idea was to use this test half-half, to prepare the race but also to prepare myself and the bike for future races. 

"Looks like Michelin tyres will change a lot for the GP. It’s not fixed yet but it looks like the tyres can change. Also for Michelin, new circuit, no information, if they see these tyres aren’t working well, or are a bit dangerous for some reason, they will change the tyres. 

"If they change the tyres, we will not start from zero but it will be difficult to use these same settings for the weekend GP. 

"This track is not ready to race at all. We are not really using at maximum the test as we could in Malaysia. For sure apart from tomorrow, the next time we ride will be Friday in Qatar. So I’ll try to be ready."

With Aprilia looking like one of the best and most race-ready teams on the grid, Espargaro has credited Lorenzo Savadori as an important reason why, while also calling him the team’s ‘best’ test rider over the last four years. 

"I like a lot Lorenzo as a test rider. If we compare the talent we’ve had in the last 4 years, he’s the best we had," said Espargaro.

"Cannot judge a test rider on lap times. That’s not his job. That is my job. It’s about a lot more things than being fast on single lap. 

"That’s why I like Lorenzo. He’s not far from us. But he’s very humble, he’s a hard worker, always ready. He’s here not riding but helping us on the track. I think he’s an important piece of this team."