Espargaro "deserved" to take KTM's maiden MotoGP win

KTM Motorsport boss Pit Beirer says Pol Espargaro "deserved" to take the brand's first MotoGP win for the "pure heart" he put into the project since 2017

Espargaro "deserved" to take KTM's maiden MotoGP win

Espargaro joined KTM for its first season in MotoGP back in 2017 and has been the constant in its line-up since then, taking the marque's first podium in the Valencia GP in 2018 and its best dry results prior to Brno.

While fighting for the victory in Sunday's Czech Grand Prix, Espargaro crashed out on lap 10 after a collision with Johann Zarco while KTM team-mate Brad Binder went on to take a famous debut win for himself and the team.

Speaking to the media in a debrief organised by KTM, Beirer admits Binder's win is also Espargaro's as the Spaniard has been the "backbone" of the project for the last four years.

"From the pure heart and risk he took in the project and the crew and the crew around Pol, Pol would be the guy that deserved the first win for the project because he was the backbone of the project," Beirer said.

"In the bad and good days he was fighting like a lion for us and that's why somehow he is part of that win.

"If he had not stayed so strong and committed to us, we would not have had the chance now to take the win.

"So, I feel sorry for him."

Espargaro will leave KTM at the end of the year to join Marc Marquez at the factory Honda squad, with Tech3's Miguel Oliveira joining Binder at the works KTM team.

Binder has been one of KTM's star assets since his Red Bull Rookies days, winning the Moto3 title in 2016 and missing the 2019 Moto2 crown by just three points.

Beirer says winning KTM's first MotoGP race with one of its own riders is "the nicest thing" and believes it is vindication for his push to complete the KTM progression ladder by entering a chassis into Moto2 from 2017 to 2019.

"To win it with Brad, that's the nicest thing you can reach as a race team, as a sport manager, if you found together with Red Bull the Rookies Cup a kid there who has the dream to ride MotoGP one day," he added.

"And then in Moto3 together with him he becomes the champion.

"The Moto2 class was so difficult for us to step into as a team, to build a chassis.

"But last Sunday we got the payback for going into Moto2, because imagine if we hadn't have gone into Moto2?

"That was always my talk to the board, because I don't want to lose a Moto3 world champion with KTM to any other person in the world.

"What we learned in off-road [racing], our rookies grow up with us, we become a family and the closer you become, the stronger you get as a team.

"We would rarely lose riders if they were champions with us.

"On the road, we would have Rookies Cup, Moto3, a good year and then he was taken to another team in Moto2 if he was good, and if he was not so good he wanted to stay with us in Moto3.

"So, it was not the situation we wanted, and through Moto2 we could close the bridge and that's why Brad could stay with us."

shares
comments
2020 MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix session timings and preview
Previous article

2020 MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix session timings and preview

Next article

Why the real winner in the MotoGP Czech GP wasn’t KTM

Why the real winner in the MotoGP Czech GP wasn’t KTM
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Plus

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
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