Pol Espargaro “wasn’t prepared” for Honda MotoGP debut - Motor Informed
MotoGP

Pol Espargaro “wasn’t prepared” for Honda MotoGP debut

The 2013 Moto2 world champion made a shock change from KTM to the manufacturing unit Honda squad for 2021, however discovered the transition immensely troublesome.

With COVID-19 forcing pre-season testing to be lower down to only 5 days in Qatar earlier than the primary two races of the yr at Losail, Espargaro was left enjoying catch-up for many of the marketing campaign.

The 2021 Honda lacked rear grip, which brought about points for its riders exiting corners in addition to into them – Espargaro unable to utilise his regular braking model of utilizing the rear brake because of this.

A number of post-race assessments in the course of the season allowed him to make some headway, with Espargaro scoring pole at Silverstone and claiming his best-ever MotoGP results of second on the Emilia Romagna GP to finish Honda’s first 1-2 behind Marc Marquez since 2017.

Reflecting on his first season as a Honda rider, Espargaro admits he began it actually on the again foot – however felt tangible progress had been made on the bike on the run in to the tip of the yr.

“Principally, the expertise in MotoGP is half of the way in which – it’s super-important,” Espargaro stated.

“And particularly when you’re altering bikes, the extent now in MotoGP is improbable, it’s tremendous, tremendous excessive.

“So, you haven’t any time to say you might be adapting, or you haven’t any time to check, you haven’t a lot testing now.

“We went into the primary race in Qatar not prepared, really, with a number of a laps in Qatar [testing] and some laps on the bike.

“So, undoubtedly I used to be not prepared. Then I wanted to find how one can trip the bike in the course of the race weekends, which could be very, very troublesome as a result of you may have all of the stress, you need to carry out effectively, you may have crashes, you haven’t any time to work on the bike.

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Group

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, we wanted to make use of the small assessments as a vital take a look at for us, and thru the yr these assessments – particularly from the center of the yr to the tip – we actually improved the bike, we actually improved our set-up and I began to really feel significantly better on the bike.

“Certain, if we might have this expertise firstly of the yr, like if the race in Portimao [the Algarve GP] was the primary race, the yr would have been a lot simpler and completely different.

“However ultimately it’s what it’s, we will’t return in time. We have to take it.

“What was good is we ended with a pole place and a podium, we fought for high 5 positions within the final races and that is one thing nice.”

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Espargaro ended the yr 12th within the standings on 100 factors – 42 adrift of Marc Marquez, who missed 4 races by means of damage and crashed out of 4 others.

After the two-day post-season Jerez take a look at, Espargaro – who was nonetheless battered from a violent crash which ruled him out of the Valencia finale – was optimistic in regards to the steps Honda had taken with its 2022 bike, noting that the up to date RC213V had regained that lacking rear grip.

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