Espargaro: Impossible rehab justified for MotoGP points in Thailand

KTM rider Pol Espargaro says three points for 13th place in the Thailand Grand Prix have vindicated his push for an "impossible" return from injury

Espargaro: Impossible rehab justified for MotoGP points in Thailand

Having withdrawn from Aragon after fracturing his left wrist in a practice crash, Espargaro was operated on and underwent a week of intense, "24-hour" therapy to be fit in time for Thailand.

And the Spaniard duly led KTM's efforts in Buriram despite the injury, making Q2 before ultimately finishing the race 36 seconds behind winner Marc Marquez in 13th.

Espargaro said his wrist "held up" over the 26-lap race in the gruelling Thai heat, although he admitted he began to "struggle a lot" in the final laps.

"It was enough," he said.

"For sure was not the best feeling I could have in that race, but in those conditions, I think one of the hardest of the year, to finish the race in that place and that gap between first and I, I cannot [ask for] more.

"If someone asked me to fly here, to race here, after the surgery I've done one week and a half ago, I would say it would be impossible, but we did it. Amazing."

Asked by Autosport whether the three points felt worth the strenuous rehab, he said: "At the end, three points is quite a lot.

"Last year we were very happy with three points - now when we finish in that conditions looks like it's not enough, but, come on...

"How I was through this weekend, with stitches still on the hand, to finish in that position is so good."

Having once again seen off the other KTMs in Thailand, Espargaro has finished as the lead RC16 rider in all but two races this season - Austria, where his bike shut off, and Aragon, which he skipped through injury.

"It's true that I'm confident on the bike, I'm riding good, I feel this bike is my bike and honestly I enjoy so much riding the KTM right now," he said.

"The bike, for sure now it's not the best one on the grid, we are still developing the bike, but it's going in a very, very good level, so we must continue working.

"All the guys are working [hard] here, even if they're not in front of me on the grid or at the end of the race, they [the other riders] are working so much."

shares
comments
Miller's Thailand MotoGP pitlane start came after he hit kill switch

Previous article

Miller's Thailand MotoGP pitlane start came after he hit kill switch

Next article

Why Marquez rates 2019 as his best title yet

Why Marquez rates 2019 as his best title yet
Load comments
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021