Pol Espargaro still has a week to go until his Repsol Honda MotoGP debut but the Spaniard recently completed his first laps an RC213V-S - the production version of the RC213V - alongside eight of his premier-class rivals while training at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (video below).

As well as helping get up to speed ahead of the belated start to MotoGP testing, the track day offered the chance to try the reprofiled Turn 10 layout, which will be in use for this year's Catalan Grand Prix.

“It’s been really nice. The weather has been perfect, so we have enjoyed so much riding the bike, but this is completely different than MotoGP," Espargaro said. "For that reason, I’m really looking forward to Qatar, to see the difference between these ones and the ones I will ride there.”

The new Turn 10, at the end of the back straight, is closer to the original flowing corner than the sharp F1 turn that has been in use for recent years.

“It was very good," Espargaro said. "We have been racing here for lots of years already, and when we started to race here, that corner was especially different than other race tracks.

"I think the corner now becomes a little bit better and also recovers what was lost with the last remodelling. Now I think it matches better with motorcycles than with cars.”

“I think this modification is good for riders who have fast corner speed or that ride bikes with high corner speed. The corner is very fast, and I normally tend to brake very late and stop the bike in the middle of the corner. Anyway, we will figure it out in June.”

Espargaro was riding a few days after his first official appearance as a Repsol Honda rider, in the team's online presentation and following media activities.

"It’s still a bit strange to see myself in these colours, but I am slowly feeling more comfortable in them," he said.

Next up is the moment Espargaro has been waiting for, his first ride on a Repsol Honda MotoGP machine, during the start of official testing in Qatar on March 6.

“It’s difficult to expect something. I’m really looking forward to being there and seeing myself with that bike," he said. "I have been dreaming a lot about that moment and I feel I can perform well with Repsol Honda. I still have to wait for a few days, and they will be long…”

Five days of Official testing (following a one-day Shakedown) will be available in Qatar before the season-opening race is held at the same Losail circuit on March 28.

 

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