Espargaro “angry” with result of “amazing” Honda debut at Qatar MotoGP

Pol Espargaro admits he is “angry” with eighth in the Qatar Grand Prix on his Honda MotoGP debut, but also hailed his race as “amazing”.

Espargaro “angry” with result of “amazing” Honda debut at Qatar MotoGP

Espargaro launched from 12th on the grid on Sunday in Losail but was cautious in the opening laps having had no experience of the RC213V’s behaviour on a full fuel tank.

He eventually started picking his way through the pack, ending up eighth having been pipped by his Aprilia-mounted brother Aleix by 0.056 seconds on the run to the finish line.

Espargaro says his front tyre was “really damaged” by the time he found his brother on the track but insists being beaten by the Aprilia is “not important” having ended up just 5.9s away from victory despite the time lost during his steady start to the race.

“I was recovering and overtaking guys during all the race,” he said. “I was 12th in the second lap and I finished eighth. So, I needed to overtake guys almost every lap.

“And then when I arrived to Aleix I tried, but the tyre was really damaged and the problem was I was gaining on the brakes normally, but then the front was very bad.

“Then I tried to [pass] on the straight. If it had been half a lap more, or one straight in between a little bit longer, I would do it.

“But the problem was I came too late and I arrived at 50 milliseconds [behind]. But I think that’s not important. What is important I think is we arrived at 5.9s [from the win], we lose three seconds in the first and second lap.

“So this is good, I wanted to be more in front but it’s good, the result is super-interesting. Even if I was very bad at the beginning we arrive at 5.9s [from first].

“So, I’m angry with the result because it’s eighth, it’s not nice, the points are not good. But in [the picture] of the race, of the day, it’s amazing. So next race I’m going to go for it.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro says he learned more about the Honda during the 20-lap race than he did throughout testing and practice in Qatar and is adamant he can bring home better results with a strong qualifying performance.

Read Also:

“I think I’ve learned more in that race than the whole time I spent on the bike in the test or here in the race weekend,” he added.

“So, the race was very important, I learned a lot. Many problems I faced during the weekend I improved by the race.

“So, I’m proud with the job we have done, but still if we want to get our target which is fighting for the title, next race we cannot be in eighth place, we need to be a little bit higher.

“I know this will be difficult, but after the knowledge we get, we just need a better time attack on Saturday.

“This is super important, and then if I can do that, I can stay in the first rows, I think we can do a good job.”

shares
comments

Related video

Tank Slappers Podcast: Vinales wins MotoGP 2021 opener in Qatar
Previous article

Tank Slappers Podcast: Vinales wins MotoGP 2021 opener in Qatar

Next article

Morbidelli’s Qatar MotoGP race wrecked by holeshot device issue

Morbidelli’s Qatar MotoGP race wrecked by holeshot device issue
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022