18.07.2020

Espargaro charges to 7th through first hot Jerez qualifier

MotoGP 2020 - Round 01, Circuito de Jerez–Angel Nieto (ESP)
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP 2020 Jerez

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Jerez boiled in July sunshine and with track temperatures that reached the mid-50s for the first Qualification run of the delayed 2020 campaign. Espargaro missed the direct cut to the Q2 session by fractions of a second but edged his way through Q1 with a confident time attack with his KTM RC16. His last push of the day delivered the lap that would guarantee KTM’s slot at the peak of the third row. Espargaro was just four-hundredths of a second from 6th place.

Teammate Brad Binder made considerable improvements to his feeling in the braking zones around Jerez’s compact 4.4km layout. The South African rookie almost squeezed through Q1 but was content with 13th; and is elevated to 12th on the grid and the last slot of the fourth row due to Alex Rins’ non-participation on Sunday.

Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona ranked 17th and 22nd respectively as the first Saturday challenge of 2020 – and the first of two weekends back-to-back at Jerez – drew to a close. Both will also shuffle forwards one position for the opening race of the term.

Pol Espargaro: “It was better than what we expected We missed everything today by milliseconds, but I think we must be happy. We were a bit worried because these high temperatures are very tricky for us. I think the bike is turning a bit better and for whatever reason this tire is adapting a bit more to our bike. The race pace especially is quite consistent and doesn’t drop as much as last year with these hot temperatures. For tomorrow’s race let’s see with the asphalt after the Moto2 race and the temperatures together with the different rubber. I will need to risk a little in the beginning, but we are in a good position to be in the second group.”

Brad Binder: “To be completely honest it has been better than what I could have asked for. If I think where I started at the end of last year – or even the beginning of this one – then I think to be 12th in Jerez with the lap-time we did we have to be happy. We made a huge step in reducing mistakes. Also, with the bike’s performance in the braking zones, especially in the heat and with general comfort just by making the front a bit harder. I need to be realistic, for my first grand prix we are learning a lot and still have a hell of a lot to learn. I realize that every time I go out. I think there is margin there and opportunities for us to make good steps forward. Tomorrow will be part of that learning curve for sure.”

Miguel Oliveira: “This morning it was quite hard to find the pace for one fast lap. We struggled again to find grip. I think I would need a bit more time with the configuration of this bike. But in the end, we made a step forward, so this is important. Our pace is quite strong. Tomorrow it’s going to be a long and hard race, so we keep our minds positive.”

Iker Lecuona: “For sure it wasn’t an easy day for me. I was struggling with the bike and couldn’t find my good feeling from yesterday. FP4 was not bad, I worked a little bit more for the race. The first run of Qualifying was tricky, so I came back to the garage quite quickly, but still, I couldn’t find that great sensation I had on Friday. I’m obviously not happy but we will see what we can change for tomorrow.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin flew to his first ever Pole Position in the Moto2 category in what is just his second term in the class. The Spaniard is seven positions (and just half a second) ahead of teammate and Grand Prix of Qatar winner Tetsuta Nagashima.

In Moto3 SKY Racing Team VR46’s Andrea Migno maintained his decent pace from practice and captured 2nd position on the grid. The experienced Italian was the first of three KTM RC4 riders in the top five with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez in 4th spot and Celestino Vietti a tenth of a second behind.

Races: July 19th, 2020 – Moto3 11.00 | Moto2 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2020
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha 1:36.705
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +0.139
3. Marc Marquez (ESP) Honda +0.157
4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati +0.250
5. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +0.748
7. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +0.788
13. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM 1:37.396 (Q1)
17. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:37.964 (Q1)
22. Iker Lecuona (ESP), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:38.512 (Q1)

Results Qualifying Moto2 Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2020
1. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo 1:41.384
2. Jorge Navarro (ESP) Speed Up +0.181
3. Sam Lowes (GBR) Kalex +0.300
8. Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.505

Results Qualifying Moto3 Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto 2020
1. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN) Honda 1:45.465
2. Andrea Migno (ITA) KTM +0.195
3. John McPhee (GBR) Honda +0.307
4. Raul Fernandez (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo (Q1) +0.501

Contact:
Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084
sebastian.kuhn@ktm.com

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