Aleix Espargaro wrapped up a second consecutive CRT world championship today at Philip Island by finishing eleventh in a chaotic Australian Grand Prix. The Aspar rider made mathematically certain of the title today but it has never been in doubt throughout the season with the Spaniard consistently the fastest CRT rider. Espargaro has scored more than twice the number of points of his closest pursuer, Colin Edwards.
Speaking after the race a clearly delighted Espargaro said:
“I’m happy because in FP1 I lost a lot of time losing a good setup so I was much slower than Colin and de Puniet but yesterday we improved a lot,” said the smiling Espargaro. “Our pace for the race was not good enough for the win but we are still the CRT champions so I’m really happy.”
With the announcement of Espargaro’s expected move to Forward Racing next season having been delayed until Valencia the Spaniard made clear that he felt winning the title was an important stepping stone to the privateer Yamaha at Forward Racing:
“It was really important [to win a second CRT title] and then if I have the opportunity to have a better bike next year it’s because these two years we made a very good job where we were close to the MotoGP bikes.”
Having had the consistency of racing for Aspar for the last two years Espargaro was keen to stress how much the team has meant to him while admitting that the challenge of riding a better machine was just too good to turn down:
“The team is like a family and my crew of mechanics and engineers is a new family for me. I’m really happy with them but I need to improve and have a better bike to show everybody and myself that I can be faster but for sure it is not easy to leave this team.”