The Espargaro brothers, Aleix and Pol, were both in good shape on Wednesday at Sepang, impressing with respective top three test times.
Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro has shown signs of rapid progress during preseason tests with his new employers Monster Yamaha Tech 3 as he moves up to the premier class for the 2014 season.
He completed the first day of Sepang 2 testing just 0.151s off the pace in third place overall, outperforming his new teammate Bradley Smith and outpacing the likes of Yamaha Factory Racing pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. He made good use of the new seamless gearbox which Yamaha have provided for Tech 3 as of this test.
The younger Espargaro sibling stated, “Near the end of the day the track improved and we managed to get quite a good time. I don’t think the factory teams pushed to the limit and Marc is also not here, but it’s still nice to finish the first day in third position. I want to say thank you to Yamaha as today was the first day we could use the new seamless gearbox, and the feeling is just amazing.”
He went into further detail on the benefits of the new gearbox adding, “We have a bit more power in every gear and it helps you in many different areas, for example, in the middle of the corner or with the anti-wheelie, it takes a lot of work away from the rider. Altogether it has been a really good day today and the feeling with the bike was just great.”
At the conclusion of the day’s testing Pol was just 0.1s behind his brother Aleix who was second overall, prompting the younger of the two to tweet his Yamaha-equipped sibling with a cheeky message along the lines of “I’m coming for you!”
The consistently impressive Aleix, meanwhile, made a slow start, completing just a handful of laps with his second NGM Mobile Forward Racing Yamaha ‘Open’ class machine, before topping the timesheet later in the day and eventually missing top spot by just 0.052s.
He told motogp.com; “I’m happy because we did a great job. At the beginning I was struggling a lot because we did a bike two shakedown and it was not easy so I just did six or seven laps all morning. It was a bit of a disaster as we had some problems with electronics. I did 20 more laps on bike two in the afternoon, but was it still not as good as bike one and the track was not good, the times were slower, but even like this I’m really proud of the job we did today.”
On the requirement to test his pace over race distance he concluded, “I need to fix the problems with bike two, that I don’t have on bike one and then if everything is ok I need to do a long run on Thursday and another one on Friday. We need to improve the life of the rear tire.”Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Pol Espargaro