Photography by Gold & Goose
The final pre-season test for the MotoGP World Championship ended today in Qatar and it was both a good and bad day to be named Espargaro. Good if you are the older brother, Aleix. Not so good if you’re the younger brother, Pol.
Aleix Espargaro ended up the fastest of the three-day test by virtue of his 1:54.874 today on the NGM Forward Mobile Racing Yamaha; his brother Pol, meanwhile, ended up with a broken collarbone: But not before the non-defending Moto2 World Champion clocked the second fastest lap of the test – a lap that was just .033 of a second behind Aleix.
Aleix Espargaro’s best lap on the “Open” class Yamaha was just .2 of a second off the 2013 pole time set at the Losail Circuit by Jorge Lorenzo and Espargaro also fared well in a race simulation that he did late on the final day
Brother Pol, meanwhile, crashed in turn six and suffered the shoulder injury. He is scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow in Spain.
Third fastest for the three days was Pol Espargaro’s teammate Bradley Smith on the second Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. Smith also crashed, but didn’t suffer injury. He ended up just .153 of a second off the best Espargaro lap.
After the three Yamahas at the top of the timesheet, Honda riders Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista were fourth and fifth, respectively. Both riders crashed today and both avoided injury. Bradl turned in a 1:55.187, putting him .045 of a second ahead of Bautista and the Go & Fun Gresini Honda.
Pramac Racing's Andrea Iannone was the faster of the two Ducati riders on track again, finishing .644s off the pace; Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez was eighth on the 2013-model Ducati.
Colin Edwards ended up seventh with fellow American Nicky Hayden and his Drive M7 Aspar Honda teammate Hiroshi Aoyama rounding out the top 10.