Power Electronics Aspar Remain On Course For MOTOGP History
Preseason for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship officially concluded today, with the last of hundreds of laps in Malaysia, Aragón, Valencia and Jerez taking place at the Andalucian circuit. Conditions returned to normal today, as they had been on the first of three days, with the majority of riders able to make full use of the available track time throughout the day. The new 1000cc factory MotoGP machines are still slightly off the pace of their 800cc predecessors, with Stoner's pacesetting 1'38.780 today comparing to Lorenzo's record of 1'38.189 from 2008. It was the Spaniard who spent most of the day at the top of the timesheets today but the Australian stole in with a late effort, with those two the only riders able to lap in the 38s, although Pedrosa was close behind. That trio of riders are the clear podium favourites for the opening round of the season in Qatar.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team showed their capacity to react today, with both riders starting out this morning with front-end grip problems. Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró worked against the clock throughout the day to improve their suspension and chassis set-up but with particular focus on tyres as they tried to improve corner speed. Short runs of five to seven laps gave them the opportunity to try a variety of combinations and they began to find a breakthrough early in the afternoon. The pair were again the quickest riders amongst the new MotoGP CRT field, giving them confidence for a historic first race with their ART bikes in Qatar.
13th Randy De Puniet 1.40.601 (71 laps): “We struggled a lot this morning for front end grip and had to work hard to resolve the issue, it took almost three hours. In the end we went with a tyre that we had tested on Friday and it made a big difference. Apart from the setback this morning I am satisfied with the test, we have been fast and at the front of the CRT field, not that far off the factory guys. Our pace is good and I think we're ready for the start of the season. I am really happy with the potential of the bike and I think we can perform to a high level on it this season. It is consistent and ready to run race distance. I crashed late in the day, probably pushing too hard on a worn front tyre, but luckily it was really slow.”
14th Aleix Espargaró 1.41.645 (69 laps): “We have had a lot of chattering today, I don't know why, but I struggled to get on the pace this morning. We improved a lot with the new Bridgestone but not enough so we have to keep working. I need more confidence in corner entry. Little by little we managed to set a good pace on a new tyre but we need to find a better solution to improve our mid-corner speed. We have done a lot of work on the chassis and suspension and improved my overall feeling so we'll have to keep working along the same lines in Qatar. The good thing is that I am amongst the fastest CRT riders but we only have to look at my team-mate Randy to see that I can still go faster.”