These are good days for Forward Yamaha rider Aleix Espargaro. Today at COTA he qualified fourth, putting his Open-spec M1 Yamaha in front of five factory or factory-supported GP bikes. It was a staggering accomplishment and the Spanish rider was well within the his rights to walk around dripping of bravado.
After all he out-qualified both factory Yamahas. Both.
But the elder Espargaro brother set a realistic tone, and wasn't helping anyone write a heroic story about his day.
"It's nice," he said of his qualifying position, "but, it's not real."
The soft tire helped the former CRT rider put in the impressive lap time, he said.
And of tomorrow, maybe there is a possibility of a podium finish in his immediate future?
"Not really," he said. "The Hondas will be strong and the factory (Yamahas) will be much stronger in the race. Podium? Probably not possible."