Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Rider Pol Espargaro delivered a tireless performance in the demanding San Marino GP to finish the event in 9th place in front of more than 100,000 passionate fans today. The 25-year-old lunged forward from the head of the fourth row of the grid and after carefully picking his way around the first lap, he crossed the line in the same position. Then he quickly built up his pace and his strong rhythm saw him close down Aleix Espargaro in front, whom he powered past on lap 8. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion continued to push as he reduced the gap to Crutchlow and Pirro in the final stages of the race and he eventually met the chequered flag whilst holding 9th position. However, a time penalty for the rider in front, which was issued after the GP, elevated Espargaro to 8th in the results. Yet, after further investigation, the penalty was cancelled with the new result seeing the Spaniard finish in 9th position. At the Gran Premio de Aragon, the Spaniard will aim to produce another solid performance ahead of the triple flyaway events.

Meanwhile, Alex Lowes suffered bad luck at the San Marino GP as he fell on the 7th lap whilst fighting for a point scoring result. The British rider, who is standing in for the injured Bradley Smith, kicked off the sprint from 14thon the grid and leapt forward when the lights went out before concluding the opening lap in 17th. He set into a consistent rhythm as he aimed to move up and seize another strong finish. Yet, he unfortunately lost the front of his bike at the first corner, with a quarter of the distance having been completed, whilst running in 16th. The outcome marks a disappointing close to the event for the 25-year-old, who otherwise produced a highly positive and impressive display in only his second MotoGP appearance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. Lowes will compete at the 10th round of the World Superbike Series in Germany next weekend, and will then join the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team once again in Aragon for his final outing due to Smith’s continued recovery process.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 9th - Championship: 9th - Points: 88


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"Of course this decision from race direction is disappointing for me. In other cases, people have been penalised because they ran off the track on one occasion, but Cal did this four or five times in the race. If a rider misses a chicane or a series of corners, they don’t just avoid them, but they also save tyres and it prevents someone from getting a bit more tired so it’s easier for them to push again. In addition, I don’t understand why race control didn’t call me directly because I was behind Cal and I could see everything. In terms of the end position it doesn’t change the world because fighting for 8th or 9th is not at the top of the field, but I do not understand the decision and I am upset by it. With regards to the race itself, I did my absolute best but it was very physically demanding. I struggled with the full fuel load, the bike moved a lot and my leg started to hurt a bit, which certainly didn’t make things easier. In addition, at the beginning, it was tough to get past Aleix because his bike seemed to have the upper hand, but I pushed onwards and passed him on the 8th lap because he made a slight mistake whilst entering the last corner, which I rode perfectly. Then, in the last stages of the race, I was hunting down Cal, plus I rode a 1’33.9 in the penultimate lap which helped to reduce the gap to 1.4 seconds and I gave it everything I had. Nevertheless, I am six points behind him in the standings, so we have to try and lower this at the next round and therefore I will be back stronger in Aragon."

Profil


Alex Lowes

Position: DNF - Championship: 23rd - Points: 3


 

Alex Lowes - 2016"After what has been a positive weekend, I am obviously disappointed with today’s outcome. To be honest, I didn’t really get the chance to get into the race, and sadly I made a small mistake and lost the front at turn one. For sure, this is a big shame because I’ve completed quite a few longer runs in the practice sessions and overall, my pace has been good and I have constantly improved my times. The whole weekend, apart from today, has been encouraging and I got a better understanding of the YZR-M1 with every lap. I’ve enjoyed this event but it’s never nice to end with a negative result in the GP, especially as I am getting more competitive on the Yamaha. I have to say again that this experience has been fantastic and I have been able to enjoy the time because there is no pressure with regards to the championship standings. I wish that I was able to repay the team’s efforts with a good finish today, but we made a good step up from Silverstone. Yet, I am super happy to announce that I will be riding for Monster Yamaha Tech3 again in Aragon and I am thankful to have another opportunity. Yet, first of all, I have to concentrate now on my own championship targets in WSBK with next week’s race in Lausitzring and I am very confident that the experience gained in MotoGP will enable me to fight for the podium."


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:


 

“We knew that it was not going to be an easy MotoGP race for us starting from the 4th and 5th rows of the grid, but altogether we did the best that we could and now we will look on to the next GP. Pol got a decent start, was in the right group from the beginning of the race and was fighting hard with those riders. I would like to thank him for his efforts because he was fast all weekend and it was a bit of a pity about what happened in qualifying. He was still in pain from the Silverstone crash, but I think he showed great determination. For sure, the week off is going to help him a lot and we will see him at full power in Aragon. On the other side of the garage, I was very pleased with Alex in every practice session including qualifying. He has been doing a great job and I was very sorry to see him crash. His performances have impressed Yamaha Europe, Yamaha Japan and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. So we would like to take this opportunity to announce that the second rider for our team at the Aragon round will be Alex Lowes. We are really happy with this news and we hope that another MotoGP appearance will continue to boost his career.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro will bolt forward from the head of the fourth row of the grid at the round 13 battle in San Marino tomorrow. The 25-year-old jumped into action when FP3 commenced and he notably posted a time that saw him clinch 4th in the session and together with his time from yesterday, he progressed into Q2 in 3rd in the combined standings. Espargaro also completed more laps than any other rider in the morning practice which outlined his determination as he aimed for success in the afternoon. He notably finished FP4 in 6th, and then the Spaniard set off at speed when Qualifying 2 began as he started his campaign. After riding 7 laps, he scored his fastest on his 3rd which left him just over 3 tenths from the second row. As a result, tomorrow he will seek to work through the field and close the weekend as the top independent rider.

Meanwhile, Alex Lowes will kick off his second MotoGP race from the 14th on the grid, after producing another impressive display of speed in today’s qualifying at Misano. The young Briton started the day in a positive fashion by ending the FP3 session in 14th, but only 0.355 back from the cut-off point to Q2. Then, he finished FP4 in 11th but was just six-tenths of a second behind the reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo which left him fully confident for the qualifying one shootout. Here, he got straight to work as he upped his pace before speeding to his personal best time on his penultimate run that left him in 14th as he outperformed several far more experienced MotoGP riders. He also improved on his Silverstone qualifying by two positions. Now Lowes eagerly awaits tomorrow’s 28-lap race where he will aim to produce another strong showing by finishing in the points.


Pol Espargaro

 Position: 10th - Time: 1'33.002 - Laps: 7


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"After showing how strong our pace was over all of the free practice sessions this weekend, I can’t hide the fact that qualifying didn’t really go to plan for me which is really disappointing. Because of this, I have made the job harder for tomorrow, and what makes it even more of a bitter pill to swallow is that I know we had the speed to do a decent job today. After an ok first run, I thought that I could go quicker on my second go, but I couldn’t make it work. Yet, we have to look at the positives. Our race pace is definitely competitive, and we are certain that it will allow me to fight for the top independent position tomorrow. A decent jump off the line will be vital because the run down to the first corner is not too long, plus the following corners are tight and it’s tough to overtake there. I feel a lot more competitive here compared to the last races and the rhythm that I had in FP4 was really solid on worn tyres with the warm weather, even if the heat made my leg hurt a bit. The important day is tomorrow, and we have done a good job so far over this weekend, so I hope that we can close the weekend positively.

Profil


Alex Lowes

Position: 14th - Time: 1'33.635 - Laps: 8


 

Alex Lowes - 2016"I am satisfied by what we achieved today and I’ve got to say that I feel positive for the race tomorrow. I improved my time by half a second from yesterday, but having said that I have to admit that still think that I’ve not had enough time on the bike to feel like I can push at the absolute maximum in QP. I need to learn and understand a few more points, such as adjusting my riding position, plus I think that the laps that I completed were too smooth for qualifying today. Therefore, I aimed to just get a solid grid placement rather than risk anything. The result is better than Silverstone and the gap to the leader is getting smaller and in addition, my pace over several laps looks positive. I made a mistake and fell in FP3, but apart from that, I am happy with our work and I am ready and excited for tomorrow."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaro ignited his San Marino GP campaign with a highly positive start aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 after completing the first day of action at the top of the field. The 25-year-old got straight into action in the opening shakedown and after commencing his set up work, he impressively concluded the practice in second but only a mere tenth of a second behind the leader. The afternoon session began with the weather conditions still being perfect and Espargaro carried on from where he left off. His lap times progressively improved before he blazed across the finish line to post a scorching lap time of 1’32.769 which left him 0.069 clear of the next rider. The outstanding performance marks the perfect comeback from an unfortunate crash at Silverstone, where he was lucky to escape any serious injury and he will look to continue the momentum tomorrow by seizing a top tier grid position.

On the other side of the Tech3 pit box, Alex Lowes impressed once again by ending FP2 in 15th as he stands in for his compatriot Bradley Smith. The young Briton commenced his first outing on the YZR-M1 at the San Marino track with a solid run to 18th in the morning as he continued to gather experience. The confident 25-year-old outlined his determination to succeed by completing more laps than any other rider in the session that saw 16 competitors covered by one second. After midday, he proceeded to make further strides forward and eventually sped to his personal best that was notably only just half a second from top ten. The British star now aims to carry on his progression by clinching a strong qualifying position tomorrow for Sunday’s 28-lap sprint.


Pol Espargaro

Position: 1st - Time: 1'32.769 - Laps: 40


 

Pol Espargaro - 2016"It’s a great feeling to end the day in first, even if it is just the beginning of the weekend and with the plans that we have for tomorrow, we hope to continue progressing. Today the bike ran really well and I felt very comfortable on it at the Misano circuit. In addition, the tyres that Michelin brought here have allowed me to ride my Yamaha more in a way that I want to. The rear hard compound has a lot of grip and performed well whilst braking. The end result is a small trophy but the important work starts tomorrow, so tonight we will check some data to improve a bit because there is not much of a gap between the other riders. Another positive from today is that my physical condition after the nasty crash in Silverstone is not affecting my riding whilst on track. Therefore, I look forward to getting back on the Yamaha and I will do my absolute best to get a solid grid position for Sunday’s race."

Profil


Alex Lowes

Position: 17th - Time: 1'34.154 - Laps: 43


 

Alex Lowes - 2016"I have really enjoyed my first day on the YZR-M1 at Misano and I feel that we are certainly making steps forward. In all honesty, riding this bike at this track is fantastic, plus it’s so different to the other motorcycles that I have used here and I mean that in a very positive way. I am increasing my knowledge and the faster I go, the more I have to change my style step by step, but I think we are getting closer to the mid-pack riders. The good thing is, I know what I have to do to advance which is improve my smoothness on the bike in terms of body position, plus I also need to keep building my confidence on corner entry. With a good rest tonight, I will be able to digest all the new information which will set me up for tomorrow’s qualifying. All in all, I have to say that I really liked riding the Yamaha at another track and the sun was shining too which is always good, so I am fired up for the rest of the weekend."

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