Espargaro says aggression needed for MotoGP sprint caused Argentina crash

Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro says the level of aggression required for the MotoGP sprint race led to his crash out of the half-distance Saturday contest at the Argentina Grand Prix.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Espargaro was left stranded in ninth after struggling in the wet-to-dry qualifying earlier on Saturday and was forced to get his elbows out in the sprint to make up positions.

Getting as high as seventh, Espargaro crashed out going through Turn 9, which he said was his own mistake.

However, he feels he was driven to it due to the aggression levels required to make up ground in the frenetic sprint format, which he says is unnatural to him.

“It’s difficult to overtake in these kinds of races because everybody stresses to the limit the front, they brake super quick and don’t think about the tyre durability,” Espargaro said.

“So, to overtake is difficult and it’s all about the qualifying. Like Portimao, I paid for it starting super far behind.

“It [aggressive sprints] will be like this all season, this is why I made my mistake because I don’t like to be really aggressive with the other riders.

“So, I pushed maybe too much myself trying to recover time to overtake because we know how short the race is, you cannot lose time behind them.

“I hope everyone enjoys this format of races, I think the show is good, the quality of the show is fantastic for the TV. But I really don’t like it.”

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked if there is anything he can do to improve his own aggression levels, Espargaro said: “I can be a little bit more aggressive, but it’s about DNA.

“I’ve never been super aggressive in my career. I can be a little bit more, but it’s not like you can push a button and be aggressive.”

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Looking ahead to Sunday’s grand prix, Espargaro feels the only rider who is looking stronger than him after what he saw in the sprint is VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi – who was second behind winner Brad Binder.

“I think we have really good pace,” he added.

“In Portimao, I was on the limit to follow the guys in front and today I really didn’t see anyone really fast, just Bezzecchi has more speed than anyone. “If he started first, for sure he was the man.”

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