Pacesetter Espargaro Aiming For Qatar Podium

Aleix Espargaro believes he has the capability to challenge for a podium finish in Sunday night’s Qatar Grand Prix after setting the pace in first practice this evening. The Spaniard demonstrated the potential in the open-class Forward Yamaha and believes there is enough performance in the machine to take him to the rostrum.

“It’s a great start and it’s a good feeling to be on top of the time sheets. We know that we had some advantage compared to the factory riders, because we were testing here two weeks ago and we started the practice session already with a good set up. Anyway I’m happy because I was fast with both soft and hard tyre. I’m sure that tomorrow everybody will improve, but we also have room for improvement so I’m really excited to this start of the season. The most important thing is to keep on working and being focused, it’s just the first free practice and my target is to fight for the podium on Sunday.”

NGM Forward Racing teammate Colin Edwards also broke into the top ten and is enjoying the challenge of adapting to the new motorcycle underneath him.

“We tried the soft tyre at the beginning of the session and then we switched to the hard tyre. All in all it was a good session and I did my best lap with the hard tyre. I’m adapting my riding style to the bike instead of trying to change the bike set up. I need to ride the bike on the rear and of course it’s not natural after 22 years but this is a new challenge that I take with great enthusiasm. I’m also very happy with Aleix’s result, he is doing great and I’m really excited for him.”