Pol Espargaro plans style tweaks at Sepang 2

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Reigning Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro will focus on riding style tweaks when he makes his third pre-season testing appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in Sepang later this week.

The Spaniard has been impressive in his previous two YZR-M1 appearances and has been inside the top 10 and close to new teammate Bradley Smith in Valencia and Malaysia.

But he is still trying to change his riding style to suit the more powerful and heavier MotoGP machine after defeating Briton Scott Redding to the 2013 Moto2 title.

Adapting to a much wider range sophisticated electronic systems and Bridgestone tyres have been two of the biggest challenges facing the younger brother of leading MotoGP privateer Aleix Espargaro.

And the 22-year-old is planning to work extensively on honing his riding style to suit MotoGP when winter testing resumes at the Sepang track in Malaysia on Wednesday (February 26).

Espargaro told MCN: “I still have to change everything because it is so different from Moto2. I have a lot to do and at the next test in Sepang I will try some different things. Many times I have my elbow on the ground with the lean angle and it destroys my leathers. I am out of the bike a lot, maybe too much. I have watched Jorge (Lorenzo) and I think his style is the way to go because he is the fastest Yamaha rider. Jorge picks up the bike so early and maybe this can help me a little bit.”

Espargaro was around a second off the fastest pace during the opening Sepang showdown earlier this month and he said much of that time was being lost in the braking zone while he still adapts to the extra stopping power provided by carbon brakes.

He added: “I am losing in many areas like in acceleration and also braking in every corner. You can brake so hard on these bikes and I have never braked with carbon discs before, so it is a little difficult for me. This is the most important point to improve. I still have to brake later but I need more confidence to do this.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt