The KTMs continue to be among the bikes that are occupying positions which matter in Barcelona too. Pol Espargarò is one of the first to benefit, with his home race, in 7th place on the grid. A result that satisfies him, but up to a certain point.
“I’m happy with my qualification, but up to a certain point. The weather isn’t bad, but after seeing my pace with worn tires, I expected to do better with the new ones. On the other hand, I knew that the KTM’s grip on a single lap is not optimal, so a seventh is not bad, even if starting from the second row would have made everything easier.”
To make up for the second row he missed, he’ll have to have an excellent start but, above all, he’ll have to monitor how his tires behave.
“I hope I can recuperate positions at the start, taking advantage of the long straight, and then keep a good pace. My pace was fantastic in the FP4s, but I’ll have to monitor the wear on the soft tire on the rear. I tried to use the medium to see if it could be an option, but it was a disaster trying to keep it up to temperature. The soft ensures durability up to fifteen laps, then it’ll be difficult even to remain upright, and those who'll be more daring without falling will make the difference. It’ll be a continuous risk.”
Pol continues his analysis of the tires, including the front.
“The wear on the rear also greatly affects the front that, at the end of the race, will have a much lower temperature, which will greatly increase the risk of falling. In this sense, I have a small advantage over some bikes, for example, the Yamahas, since I can brake harder with the KTM. It’s a similar situation to that in the Czech Republic.”
Finally, the Spanish rider commented on the news of the day: Valentino Rossi’s official move to the Petronas team, which enshrines the continuation of his career.
“I don’t know how important it is for the championship that Valentino continues, since I don’t have the data to say how many people wouldn’t watch the races without him, but it’s nice to be able to race together again. He’s not my idol, but he’s one of those riders who never gives up, who manages to adapt to new things and new riding styles.”