Second fastest Pol Espargaro targets further gains in Valencia
Fast in the wet and the dry, Pol Espargaro is determined to give the local Spanish fans something to cheer about this weekend in Valencia.
Just as the MotoGP World Championship grid was preparing to head out for their first taste of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, rain began to fall around the Valencia track. Getting progressively heavier over the course of the morning, Pol Espargaro ventured out to assess his Honda RC213V in the wet.
A productive morning led to the ninth fastest time, 0.731s shy of the top and gained Espargaro and the Repsol Honda Team valuable information. Forecasts suggest the remainder of the weekend will be dry.
In the afternoon, with improved conditions, Espargaro was able to show his speed around Valencia – one of his favourite tracks on the calendar.
Improving his pace with each run on track, the #44 set a best time of 1’30.939 for second overall. 0.012s behind Bagnaia. The Repsol Honda Team rider was pushing even harder on his final lap of FP2 to overcome this gap but suffered a fall at Turn 6. Espargaro walked away without injury.
Flanked by both factory Ducati machines in the standings, the trio appear to have an early edge of their competition with fourth placed Rins 0.4s back.
Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time on Saturday, November 13 will present Pol Espargaro with another opportunity to defend his Q2 transfer spot before battling for grid positions later in the day.
Location: Comunitat Valenciana
The Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana was completed in 1999 and held rounds of the MotoGP and Spanish Motorcycle Championships in the same year. The Cheste track has several layouts, running anti-clockwise with varying lengths. MotoGP events are held on a 4km track comprising of five right handed corners, eight left handers and a 650m straight. Although the track is regarded as quite small, the pit complex contains 48 garages whilst the stadium style grandstands can seat up to 150,000 spectators. The circuit layout which allows all parts of the circuit to be seen from any stand helps to create a unique atmosphere enjoyed by Spanish and international riders alike and as the last race of the season there is always a party feeling to the Grand Prix, which was voted best GP of 2005 by IRTA.