Pol Espargaró completed his first Free Practice sessions with the Repsol Honda Team on Friday, and ended the day with a best time of 1:53.901. The Spaniard placed 10th, improving both his pace and his feelin from morning to afternoon. Despite suffering two small crashes, he set fast times and was also the fourth quickest rider in terms of top speed.
Teammate Stefan Bradl clocked a best time of 1:54.634, putting him 18th on the combined timesheets. The German was less than half a second off a place in the Top 15.
On Saturday, the first qualifying sessions of the 2021 season will take place at Losail.
“I feel happy today because after a week off, I was able to be as fast as I was during the test more or less and the top guys didn’t all manage this. I was five tenths from first and I would have been even closer if I was able to finish the lap. This means I am getting closer but to get these lap times you need to get close to the limit and I found the limit twice today, it’s not ideal at all but to be fast sometimes you need to fall. It’s better to crash now than in Qualifying or the race. Tomorrow in the morning it will be difficult to improve times so to be in the provisional Q2 spot now is good, but if we need to push in the morning then we will. A positive first day of the season.”
“Overall not the greatest of days for us as we missed a little bit of track time in the morning but on the positive side we know what we need to work on and where we need to work. For some reason the bike is behaving quite differently compared to the test so let’s see what we can find out for tomorrow. We know the potential is a lot more than we showed today. I will see tomorrow what we can do and we will see where and what we can improve before then. The goal is to perform better as we know our potential is higher.”