Pol Espargaró: “It’s a very nice stimulus to feel competitive again”


The Spanish rider Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda) stressed the importance of entering the top ten, in the only free practice session this Friday at the Japanese Grand Prix, where he was sixth fastest, while his teammate Pol Espargaró finished seventh.

“Today I went on the attack because there was only one session and I knew it could rain tomorrow, so getting into the top ten was important,” explained the eight-time world champion in statements provided by his team.

The little time for the logistical tasks between the Aragon Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix has meant that the drivers of the three categories have only been able to carry out a single free practice session instead of two. In addition, the MotoGP practice sessions lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.

“Since the first time I’ve been out I’ve felt pretty good. It seems that the areas where we usually suffer a bit we can manage well. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I hope it rains, because then we’ll already be in the top ten Marquez added.

The one from Cervera has completed 26 laps in a training session held in dry conditions. The four drops that fell midway through the session did not prevent the Repsol Honda Team rider from lowering his times throughout the session.

Márquez was the sixth fastest, with a best time of 1 minute, 44 seconds and 656 thousandths, just over 1 tenth off the best time of the day. “I feel very good on the new tyre, but my feelings on the old tire are pretty good too,” he added.


For his part, his teammate Pol Espargaró also completed 26 laps in the 75-minute free session. “I’m quite surprised because with the medium tyre, at other circuits, we were suffering a lot, but here we are able to take advantage of it,” he said.

Espargaró was seventh, with a best time of 1 minute 44 seconds and 678 thousandths, behind Márquez. “Today has been a good day and with the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend, I think we can maintain this speed. It’s a very nice boost to feel competitive again and to do it in front of the Honda crowd is even better. We are going to analyze everything well and come back prepared tomorrow,” he concluded.