With 16 riders all within less than a second of one another, the details make the difference. The first two MotoGP practice sessions at Le Mans resulted in tightly packed standings where Aleix Espargaró (fresh from renewing his contract) did the ninth best time, riding his RS-GP to a provisional spot in Q2. The Spanish rider tackled all of FP1 with the same tyres, finding the right confidence on the French asphalt and then improving his pace during FP2, finishing with a time of 1’32.572.

Scott Redding had some difficulties, even falling victim to a sliding crash during FP2. His lack of feeling kept him from being incisive and moving up the standings any farther than twentyfirst place.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’We got off on the right foot today. Le Mans is not a particularly tricky track and the times are always rather close, so it doesn’t take much to lose positions. The grip is good, but we saw a lot of crashes and that is strange for MotoGP. We earned a spot in the top 10 and a provisional Q2 position which is always an encouraging result at the end of the first two sessions. We’ll keep working tomorrow, especially on tyre choice. There isn’t much difference in lap times between the options, but in a 27-lap race, the difference becomes important.”

SCOTT REDDING“Today I struggled to find the feeling with the RS-GP and I am having trouble understanding why. When I tried to push in spite of the poor grip, I went down – fortunately without any consequences. We are using the same settings I used when I was feeling good in the Mugello tests, but it feels like a completely different bike. We need to analyse the situation well in order to find the source of the problems and improve tomorrow.”

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