MotoGP Catalunya: ‘I really, really want to win on Sunday’ - Espargaro

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro arrived to his home race full of confidence and immediately topped the MotoGP times at Barcelona in Friday practice.

The Noale celebrations saw teammate Maverick Viñales trail Espargaro in the standings as the opening day’s two sessions concluded, with the Spaniards both eager for more at their home races.

Having stood on the premier class podium on each of the last four races, a repeat performance this weekend, and in front of his local support, would see the Granollers-born rider join both Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso as the only current riders with five consecutive rostrum results.

“Yeah, I’m very happy,” Espargaro enthused on Friday afternoon. “Yesterday already, the feeling was really good. You cannot imagine how it is to arrive here in my home GP after four consecutive podiums, fighting for the title. After 15 year riding here, it was the first time so it was amazing.

“I start very, very focused today since first practice and to finish today in P1 it means quite a lot. It’s just Friday, I know perfectly but it’s good to start on a good way, to feel good with the bike, to feel good on track.

“Barcelona is a very difficult track because it’s very, very slippery and the bike spins quite a lot. So I’m very happy with the feeling.”

For the 32-year-old, who grew up just a stones throw from the Catalunya Circuit, Friday was a pleasing indication of the project’s progress but victory on Sunday is the true target.

“We have a chance,” he admitted of his potential for pole position at his local race track. “I’ve been strong today and I did one pole position here with the Suzuki so I will try my best.

“Will be very nice to fight for a pole position in my home GP but for me, the most important thing is try to understand which is the best tyre for the last six laps of the race. I really, really want to win on Sunday. So the pole position is also important, is also nice, but it’s more important to have good pace.”