Espargaro needs “a hurricane” for strong Styrian MotoGP result

Honda’s Pol Espargaro reckons he would welcome “a hurricane” in Sunday’s MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix as he is “not competitive enough” in the dry.

Espargaro needs “a hurricane” for strong Styrian MotoGP result

The Honda rider could only manage 15th in qualifying on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring, ending up over two tenths adrift of KTM wildcard Dani Pedrosa ahead – who hasn’t ridden in a qualifying session since 2018.

Initially pleased with how the bike felt on Friday, Espargaro says the usual traction and rear grip issues which have dogged him so much in 2021 returned.

With Sunday’s race set to be rain-hit and some voicing safety concerns about riding in the conditions, Espargaro admits “the worse it can be, the better for me” if he is to salvage anything from the Styrian GP weekend.

“If there is a hurricane, I’m going to go on track because we have seen in dry conditions we are not competitive enough,” he said. “So, in wet maybe we can do something else a little bit better.

“Hopefully tomorrow a lot of rains comes, people get scared and we can take something else from it because as I said we don’t have a good pace, our bike is not working good.

“I took desperate solutions on the qualifying trying to be better, but obviously as you can see it was not working.

“It’s not working, it’s not good, so tomorrow can be a good thing if there are storms and hurricanes and rain and whatever comes.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Explaining his main issues around the Red Bull Ring, Espargaro added: “We do not have traction.

“It’s the same problem we had when we stopped for the summer break.

“The edge grip is zero, then when we pick up the bike we spin completely when the bike is straight, we burn the tyre, we do not stop the bike because there is locking.

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“I’m a guy who uses the rear brake a lot, braking in the middle of the corner to turn the bike, I live with the rear brake and here I cannot use, I cannot even touch it.

“This is killing my riding style and I cannot take anything out of my riding style which can help me to make the lap time or to be fast. I’m struggling definitely.”

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MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch & more

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