Espargaro "angry" as qualifying costs him Portugal podium chance

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro admits he is "very angry" about qualifying 14th for the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix as he felt he could have fought for the podium

Espargaro "angry" as qualifying costs him Portugal podium chance

Espargaro came through from the fifth row in the grid to score a season-best eighth in last Sunday's race at the Algarve International Circuit to cap of the 2020 campaign 17th in the championship.

The Aprilia rider's pace was very comparable to that of podium finishers Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati and Petronas SRT's Franco Morbidelli, but ended up 13 seconds adrift owing to his poor qualifying.

"Angry" about this, Espargaro admits he's also upset as he "expected" to be able to have races like he did in Portugal throughout 2020 on the RS-GP.

"Sincerely, I'm satisfied with my race," Espargaro said.

"I'm very angry about qualifying because today I think we had pace enough to fight... I know it sounds quite big to say podium, but it was quite easy for me to stay in 1m40s low all race, even in the last two laps.

"I could see on my dash that I was showing red helmets [fastest sectors], almost under 1m40s into 1m39s, which are very fast lap times.

"I make many overtakes during the race, and then when I had a gap to me and somebody in front of two seconds I was able to just close this gap, overtake and again.

"I enjoyed a lot riding this bike. When I said this year the Aprilia RS-GP is growing and I felt strong, I wanted to prove it in races like this one.

"So, I'm satisfied but at the same time I'm angry because I expected to be all season like this."

Espargaro also paid tribute to "unique" Cal Crutchlow, whose full-time racing career ended on Sunday, with the pair exchanging crash helmets after the grand prix.

"Has been a pleasure to race many years with Cal Crutchlow," Espargaro said.

"He is a rider I felt very close to, I like his lifestyle and his approach to the life and the racing life also on and off track.

"I would like to say to everybody that was the last race for a unique rider and that has been a pleasure.

"Regarding the race, actually it was a bit tricky because I overtook him quite aggressively in the last part of the race and I didn't want to touch him!"

shares
comments
Petrucci "never found a good bike" on Ducati MotoGP swan song

Previous article

Petrucci "never found a good bike" on Ducati MotoGP swan song

Next article

Rins thought he lost third in MotoGP standings in Portugal GP slump

Rins thought he lost third in MotoGP standings in Portugal GP slump
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Aleix Espargaro , Pol Espargaro
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021