On the first day of the second GP of the season in Jerez, Pol Espargarò, Marc Marquez's future teammate in HRC, certainly made his mark together with the KTM, and is now achieving great results with the Austrian bike. Today Pol finished 5th in the combined standings and was the protagonist of a busy day characterized by a bit of friction on track with his former teammate Johann Zarco.
"I lost time with Zarco today - Pol said in a conference after FP2 - During FP1 I came from behind and he was not pushing hard, he wasn’t bothered that I was there, he could have let me pass but he preferred to block me and intentionally ruin my fast lap. In the afternoon, however, he was off the line and it was my mistake. I didn't have enough room to stop the bike in time but he could have been in another place rather than there. "
As mentioned, Pol ended his day in 5th position in the combined standings, showing that he has a good pace even with used tyres.
"My pace is low 1'38", I'm really fast on used tyres, they had done 17 laps. Probably, for the first time since I have been in KTM I feel strong enough to fight for something important. Sunday in the race, in this heat I could be among the fastest in the last laps. During the morning I found some traffic and I was unable to do my lap, however what we did today is incredible. "
Where does this performance come from? Is Pedrosa's work helping the development in an important way?
“This performance is the result of a lot of things that we have been asking for a long time. We have been testing many of the innovations since last year thanks to the work of Pedrosa and Kallio. The new chassis helps keep the bike more stable, reduces movement. Another part of the work concerns electronics: Pedrosa has a different way of using it than me and therefore during the winter I worked a lot on this aspect ".
Do the new Michelins help you?
“The tyres are now more consistent and are helping us to get better on race pace. When the bike is better, we riders also improve and try to move our limits forward. Then of course when the times come it's easier to make other times. "