Espargaro 'doesn’t know how to push' after "strange" Friday

KTM's Pol Espargaro admits "I don't know how to push" to make a laptime at Catalunya owing to the tricky conditions during Friday's MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix practices.

Espargaro 'doesn’t know how to push' after "strange" Friday

The low-grip nature of the Barcelona circuit coupled with high winds on Friday led to a number of complaints from riders about the conditions, with several caught out in crashes during FP1 and FP2.

Espargaro was seventh on the combined times after Friday's running, 0.685 seconds off the pace, while teammate Brad Binder was four tenths clear in third.

The KTM worked well in the low-grip conditions at Brno in August, with Binder winning the Czech GP and Espargaro on course for a podium before crashing out.

But Espargaro says he was unable to understand the limit of grip on his KTM on Friday and felt he was "just cruising" because of the conditions.

"Strange and very weird, especially the morning," he said when asked about his day.

"I mean, we were riding all the morning and FP1 was useless. We did a lot of laps, but for exactly nothing because I didn't learn anything. I was with amazingly low grip, spinning a lot, like rain conditions in the dry.

"The grip is low, but if you add some cold wind on there, then it's even worse - especially on the front.

"I had the feeling that I didn't recognise with two sessions, with quite a lot of laps, where the front limit is, especially on the left-hand side.

"I don't feel how much I can push, how late I can brake, how much pad pressure I can do.

"For sure, in tomorrow's qualifying I'm going to push and I'm going to find it in FP3 and qualifying, but I'm wondering for the race pace especially because we need to do a lot of laps and I don't have the feeling that I'm getting tired on the bike, that I have input on the bike.

"I'm just cruising and really I don't know how to push to make the laptime.

"And I'm not happy because of that because I don't understand the situation, and with the win on the straight I felt it so much. "

Binder had similar issues in the morning, branding FP1 a "disaster", but was relaxed about his current race pace as his first day at any new circuit on the MotoGP bike is always a learning process.

"Basically the first exit this morning was a disaster, I never got the rear tyre to come back after my first pitstop," he said.

"So that was basically a session wasted, but this afternoon we started on the tyre we saved from this morning.

"So straight away things worked well. I didn't quite expect the drop so quickly, and when it dropped it took me a few laps to find my feet.

"We actually had to come and change the bike a little bit because I kept washing the front as soon as I lost the grip.

"So, for the last exit I had the best of both worlds putting in the soft rear tyre and we had improved the setting of the bike.

"Always on my first day, it's super difficult to have good rhythm purely because I'm trying different things."

shares
comments
Yamaha speed deficit "best news" of Friday - Morbidelli

Previous article

Yamaha speed deficit "best news" of Friday - Morbidelli

Next article

LCR Honda MotoGP team member tests positive for COVID-19

LCR Honda MotoGP team member tests positive for COVID-19
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Drivers Pol Espargaro
Author Lewis Duncan
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021