After his victory in Qatar, it took Pol Esapargaro another four rounds to return to his winning ways with a superb win in today’s Moto2 race at Catalunya (the Espargaro brothers live just a stone’s throw from the track) against his Tuenti Pons team mate Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat.
For awhile it seemed that we would see a repeat Valentino Rossi’s and Jorge Lorenzo’s thrilling 2009 race at the Spanish circuit, with another pair of team mates pitted against each other another last lap rivalry, but Rabat’s determination could do nothing against his worn out tires that had sent him several warning signals, and he would finish 0.081s adrift from Espargaro, while Thomas Luthi would finish a very, very distant third.
The race itself was rather unexciting for Moto2, as polesitter Espargaro got the holeshot and lead the race for the first thirteens laps and then let his team mate take the lead for a few laps, while he rested only to easily pass Rabat to take the lead with and hold it to the finish line, even if Rabat in an immense last lunge tried to line him up on the last turn, but wasn’t close enough to slipstream him on the straight.
Last January we reported the rumor that Moto2 rider Pol Espargaro was on Yamaha’s radar for a switch to MotoGP in 2014.
Yamaha Tech3’s team owner Herve Poncharal had admitted that he had talked to Espargaro last year during the Indianapolis GP on his own behalf, but nothing came from it. The authoritive MotoMatters.com during the Austin GP also asked whether Espargaro was on his radar, but the French manager said, “I will never sign a contract with Pol Espargaro” but he did admit that Yamaha has the contract right to place a rider of their choice in his team.
However the rumors of a Yamaha/Espargaro pairing has picked up speed and confirmed by Cal Crutchlow, who currently rides for Tech3.
The British who is currently doing a bang up job on the satellite M1 told BBC Sport that he could be forced to leave the team to make way for the Moto2 rider as he was informed by boss Herve Poncharal.
“He told me that Yamaha are potentially going to sign Pol and [Tech 3] will have to take him for the first year,” Crutchlow said. “The rumour is that he’s going to be getting a factory bike and doing a two-year deal with the Yamaha factory.”
Crutchlow’s contract at Tech 3 expires at the end of this season, and his complaints of an inferior spec bike and previous comments regarding Ducati stringing him along last year during contract time, while they talked and then decided on Andrea Dovizioso, may have cut some bridges, but with Audi now firmly in command, and a large part of the past management now gone, the British rider could be on Ducati next season, replacing either Nicky Hayden in the factory team or one of the two riders in Pramac or riding for Suzuki who should be back on the grid in 2014 and run by Davide Brivio.
Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat took a dominating and his first ever career win in Moto2 at Jerez, making it three different winners in the first three rounds and now leads the Moto2 standings by one point over Scott Redding.
The Tuenti Pons rider was virtually untouchable starting from Friday’s practice sessions and only let Scott Redding command the third practice session, while he dominated qualifying with a highly impressive pace as he did the race, which strangely enough wasn’t as exciting as Moto2 races usually are.
The 23-year old Rabat got the hole shot and for the entire 26 lapper had no rivals, managing with skill his Kalex and tires.
Scott Redding seemed able to catch him halfway through the race, but Rabat just upped his pace and leaving the Marc VDS rider unable to squeeze out more from his machine and having to settle for a comfortable second place.
Earlier this month the Aleix and Pol Espargaró were at the Catalunya circuit to help film the video clip called ‘Racing for a Dream’ by the Rock Romeo band, who are big fans of the two brothers who race in MotoGP and in Moto2.
The song that was released yesterday will become a sort of anthem for the two riders and the Espargarins fan club and the very catchy tune will also available across a range of music download platforms, and part of the proceeds from each sale will help the fan club follow their riders.
Check out the video with Carlos Ringo Adalid, Jordi Cubino and Marc Martín David of Rock Romeo, and Pol and Aleix not only using their bikes, but also joining in on the singing.
Source | motocuatro.com
The final pre-season test for the Moto2 category before the start of the season is officially over and in theses four days and ten practice sessions, the fastest rider was Pol Espargaro who posted the best lap over the rest of the field during yesterday’s mid-day session in 1’42.636, and he was also also the quickest rider in today’s final brief session, however he was unable to match his previous day’s lap time.
Italtrans Racing Team duo Takaaki Nakagami and Julian Simon (who crashed yesterday) skipped today’s session but their lap times were good enough to give then second and third overall, respectively. They were followed by Toni Elías and Scott Redding who topped the timesheets during the first two days of testing.
Esteve Rabat took his Tuenti HP 40 to sixth just 0.014s faster than Aspar’s Moto2 riders Nico Terol and Jordi Torres, while Xavier Simeon, and Mika Kallio on the second Marc VDS bike, closed out the top ten with a little more than one second separating them from Espargaro.
Sergio Gadea who is replacing recovering Thomas Lüthi finished 29th overall, but the Spanish rider also suffered a crash today.
The first race of 2013 season will be in Qatar on April 7th, and Pol Espargaro remains the title favourite and at the moment it seems that the Kalex’s are slightly more competitive that the Suters, while Speed Up bikes seem to be encountering much more difficulty.
Following yesterday’s rain storms at Jerez, the sun returned to shine on the Spanish circuit and even if took a few hours for the track to dry out completely.
Moto2 title favourite Pol Espargaro took just two sessions to top the timesheets and keep the best lap of the day in 1’42.636 (which was more than 7 tenths faster that Toni Elias on day 1 and 3 tenths slower than in his previous test at Jerez) which remained untouchable for the rest of the field, despite an excellent try by Italtrans’ Takaaki Nakagami who was fastest in the afternoon session, but he couldn’t dip under the 1.43 mark as couldn’t his Italtrans team mate Julian Simon who finished the day third fastest.
Scott Redding finished fourth and he also completed a race simulation run which made it four Kalex riders in the top four.
Aspar’s Nico Terol was fifth and he was the first rider on a Suter and he was followed by Esteve Rabat who was the last rider to be within a second from Espargaro. Jordi Torres, Xavier Simeon and Dominique Aegerter, were 7th,8th and 9th respectively while Axel Pons jumped into the the top ten.
Thursday will be the fourth and final day Moto2 testing, actually it will only half a day before the teams pack up their bikes and ship them to Qatar for the season opener at the Losail circuit.
While everyone was expecting to see Pol Espargaro lead the way on Day 1 of Moto2 testing at Jerez, this year’s title favourite got a little surprise from Toni Elias who posted the best time of the day.
The former Moto2 World champion and Blusens Avintia rider was able to lap in 1:43.365 with his Kalex and he proceeded Tuenti HP 40 duo Esteve Rabat (who led session 1) and Pol Espargaró by 0.059s and 0.286s respectively, in what turned out to be a very tight second session as there were 14 riders in less than a second.
Italtrans duo Takaaki Nakagami and Julián Simón were fourth and fifth fastest while Mika Kallio finished in sixth, making it six riders on Kalex’s in the top six.
Breaking the Kalex hegemony was Alex de Angelis on the NGM Forward branded Speed Up and he was followed by two Suter riders Nico Terol (Aspar Team) and Johann Zarco (Iodaracing Project), while Xavier Simeon closed out the top ten.
All the teams have finally received their spec 2013 Honda race engines that have been prepared and are supplied by Fundación Moto Engineering.
Jerez testing continues on Tuesday, but heavy rains are expected to hamper tomorrow’s full day of testing.
The first day of Moto2 Jerez test was hampered by rain, while this morning the weather was foggy over the Spanish circuit, slowing down part of the testing program of the teams, but the sun finally broke through and the riders were able to complete the second day of testing.
Pol Espargaro grabbed the top spot with a stunning lap of 1’42″332 while breaking Stefan Bradl’s 2011 (1’42″706) pole position record by almost four tenths of second in what turned out to be a Kalex domination as Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami, Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding and Mapfre Aspar Team’s Julian Simon were in the rest of the top four positions.
Nicol Terol who topped the timesheets in the wet yesterday fell back to a distant fifth as he was more than nine tenths of a second adrift, followed by Tito Rabat, Mika Kallio Jordi Torres, Johann Zarco while Dominique Aegerter, closed out the top ten with his Suter, making it six Kalexes in the first ten positions and four Suters.
Pol Espargaro is already in championship form and so his Kalex machine, and finishing six out of eight sessions at Valencia on the top of the charts, sending out a clear shot to his rivals.
The Pons rider posted a stunning lap early this afternoon in 1’34″577, which was almost a second faster than his best time yesterday and six tenths of second faster than his pole position record during last season’s Valencia GP weekend.
Espargaro wasn’t the only rider to go below the 1.35 threshold, Nico Terol was second and just two tenths of second behind him, while Julian Simon on his Kalex finished third and four tenths adrift and Jordi Torres took fourth on the second Aspar-Suter bike and making it four Spanish riders in the top four.
Thomas Luthi posted his fastest lap in the morning to take fifth, but he clashed with Ratthapark Wilairot and both riders crashed. The Interwetten rider was shipped off to the hospital where he was treated for a suspected fractured right arm and collarbone, while the Gresini rider was treated at the circuit for a head injury.
On the second day of Moto2 testing at Valencia, lap times began to drop and the become tighter, with four riders making it under the 1.36 barrier and eleven within a second from the top rider.
Taking over from Nicol Terol, pre-season title favourite Pol Espargaro topped the timesheets with a best lap of 1’35″191 in the final hour of the session and leaving yesterday’s leader Nicol Terol, in second and little more than two tenths adrift, followed by Thomas Luthi who made a big jump forward, shaving off almost seven tenths of second from day 1.
Julian Simon continues to impress with his Italtrans Racing Team Kalex machine as he finished fourth, while Pons rider Tito Rabat jumped a few spots to take fifth and he was just 0.005s faster than Johann Zarco.
Takaaki Nakagami took 7th with the other Italtrans Racing Team machine, and Scott Redding was 8th ahead of Simone Corsi - the best of the la Speed Up riders, while Jordi Torres closed out the day in 10th.