Hearken to this text
Espargaro got here to Sepang 27 factors behind championship chief Francesco Bagnaia and wanted to lose not more than three factors to the Ducati rider to maintain his title hopes alive going to Valencia.
However the Aprilia rider endured a troublesome Malaysian GP, taking the chequered flag in 11th and 21.5 seconds off of race winner Bagnaia – although he was promoted one spot to 10th after Franco Morbidelli was given a time penalty for a collision with the Aprilia rider.
Espargaro says he’s “proud” of every part Aprilia has achieved in an “historic” season for the marque, however concedes the championship was too large an ask.
“I’m very upset, I’m very unhappy,” Espargaro stated after Sunday’s race.
“I’m very happy with everyone in Aprilia, of myself, of my teammate, of everybody in Noale.
“What we did this 12 months is wonderful, historic, it would final endlessly.
“However on the identical time, the best way we ended the season it’s a bit unhappy as a result of if we have been capable of preserve our degree [from the first half of the season] within the final 4 races we’d have arrived in Valencia with some probabilities.
“However we actually misplaced it. Seems to be just like the dream was too large for us. So, we’ll find out about it and be prepared for it for the long run.”
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Group
Picture by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Espargaro was at a loss to elucidate his troublesome Sepang race, noting he had traction points all through, whereas branding the final 4 rounds a “nightmare” having scored simply 18 factors from a potential 100.
Requested about what went improper in Malaysia, Espargaro stated: “I don’t know. We have been very sluggish, the bike was very, very sluggish at this time within the straight.
“There was no traction in any respect, zero grip from the start. Consider me, I attempted every part I might, I actually pushed like hell figuring out that each level was essential for the championship.
“However I used to be very sluggish. All of the final 4 races have been a nightmare.”
Espargaro now sits third within the standings, one level away from Enea Bastianini and 23 behind Fabio Quartararo in second.
If Espargaro desires to complete runner-up within the 2022 championship, he should win in Valencia and hopes Quartararo finishes 15th or decrease.