Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Rider Pol Espargaro delivered a tireless performance in the demanding San Marino GP to finish the event in 9th place in front of more than 100,000 passionate fans today. The 25-year-old lunged forward from the head of the fourth row of the grid and after carefully picking his way around the first lap, he crossed the line in the same position. Then he quickly built up his pace and his strong rhythm saw him close down Aleix Espargaro in front, whom he powered past on lap 8. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion continued to push as he reduced the gap to Crutchlow and Pirro in the final stages of the race and he eventually met the chequered flag whilst holding 9th position. However, a time penalty for the rider in front, which was issued after the GP, elevated Espargaro to 8th in the results. Yet, after further investigation, the penalty was cancelled with the new result seeing the Spaniard finish in 9th position. At the Gran Premio de Aragon, the Spaniard will aim to produce another solid performance ahead of the triple flyaway events.
Meanwhile, Alex Lowes suffered bad luck at the San Marino GP as he fell on the 7th lap whilst fighting for a point scoring result. The British rider, who is standing in for the injured Bradley Smith, kicked off the sprint from 14thon the grid and leapt forward when the lights went out before concluding the opening lap in 17th. He set into a consistent rhythm as he aimed to move up and seize another strong finish. Yet, he unfortunately lost the front of his bike at the first corner, with a quarter of the distance having been completed, whilst running in 16th. The outcome marks a disappointing close to the event for the 25-year-old, who otherwise produced a highly positive and impressive display in only his second MotoGP appearance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. Lowes will compete at the 10th round of the World Superbike Series in Germany next weekend, and will then join the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team once again in Aragon for his final outing due to Smith’s continued recovery process.
Position: 9th - Championship: 9th - Points: 88
"Of course this decision from race direction is disappointing for me. In other cases, people have been penalised because they ran off the track on one occasion, but Cal did this four or five times in the race. If a rider misses a chicane or a series of corners, they don’t just avoid them, but they also save tyres and it prevents someone from getting a bit more tired so it’s easier for them to push again. In addition, I don’t understand why race control didn’t call me directly because I was behind Cal and I could see everything. In terms of the end position it doesn’t change the world because fighting for 8th or 9th is not at the top of the field, but I do not understand the decision and I am upset by it. With regards to the race itself, I did my absolute best but it was very physically demanding. I struggled with the full fuel load, the bike moved a lot and my leg started to hurt a bit, which certainly didn’t make things easier. In addition, at the beginning, it was tough to get past Aleix because his bike seemed to have the upper hand, but I pushed onwards and passed him on the 8th lap because he made a slight mistake whilst entering the last corner, which I rode perfectly. Then, in the last stages of the race, I was hunting down Cal, plus I rode a 1’33.9 in the penultimate lap which helped to reduce the gap to 1.4 seconds and I gave it everything I had. Nevertheless, I am six points behind him in the standings, so we have to try and lower this at the next round and therefore I will be back stronger in Aragon."
Position: DNF - Championship: 23rd - Points: 3
"After what has been a positive weekend, I am obviously disappointed with today’s outcome. To be honest, I didn’t really get the chance to get into the race, and sadly I made a small mistake and lost the front at turn one. For sure, this is a big shame because I’ve completed quite a few longer runs in the practice sessions and overall, my pace has been good and I have constantly improved my times. The whole weekend, apart from today, has been encouraging and I got a better understanding of the YZR-M1 with every lap. I’ve enjoyed this event but it’s never nice to end with a negative result in the GP, especially as I am getting more competitive on the Yamaha. I have to say again that this experience has been fantastic and I have been able to enjoy the time because there is no pressure with regards to the championship standings. I wish that I was able to repay the team’s efforts with a good finish today, but we made a good step up from Silverstone. Yet, I am super happy to announce that I will be riding for Monster Yamaha Tech3 again in Aragon and I am thankful to have another opportunity. Yet, first of all, I have to concentrate now on my own championship targets in WSBK with next week’s race in Lausitzring and I am very confident that the experience gained in MotoGP will enable me to fight for the podium."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:
“We knew that it was not going to be an easy MotoGP race for us starting from the 4th and 5th rows of the grid, but altogether we did the best that we could and now we will look on to the next GP. Pol got a decent start, was in the right group from the beginning of the race and was fighting hard with those riders. I would like to thank him for his efforts because he was fast all weekend and it was a bit of a pity about what happened in qualifying. He was still in pain from the Silverstone crash, but I think he showed great determination. For sure, the week off is going to help him a lot and we will see him at full power in Aragon. On the other side of the garage, I was very pleased with Alex in every practice session including qualifying. He has been doing a great job and I was very sorry to see him crash. His performances have impressed Yamaha Europe, Yamaha Japan and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. So we would like to take this opportunity to announce that the second rider for our team at the Aragon round will be Alex Lowes. We are really happy with this news and we hope that another MotoGP appearance will continue to boost his career.”