Espargaro ‘would have signed for’ Honda MotoGP test debut

Pol Espargaro says he was reassured by his maiden Honda MotoGP test in Qatar last week, and ‘would have signed for’ the feeling he has after only four days riding.

Espargaro ‘would have signed for’ Honda MotoGP test debut

The six-time podium finisher joined the factory Honda team from KTM in the off-season and will partner Marc Marquez when the six-time MotoGP champion returns from injury.

After high winds curtailed last Friday’s fifth day of testing, Espargaro had the 10th quickest time and was just 0.716 seconds off the pace on his first outing with the RC213V.

Espargaro also put in a competitive long run on the penultimate day with pace comparable to that of the fastest on used tyres.

Evaluating his test overall, Espargaro said: “I mean, before coming here it was difficult to think of an ideal result because you were seeing in one event Marquez beating us by far, and then other riders struggling by far.

“So, it was difficult to know in which position I would be in – like Marquez’s side, or close to, or in the other riders’ side.

“If someone came to us before the test [offering] how we finished the test, with the feeling after just four days of testing, I would sign [for] it super-fast.

PLUS: What Marquez will we get on his much-needed MotoGP return?

“I agree with Honda, with my chief mechanic Ramon [Aurin], with all the guys, they were surprised at how the adaptation went.

“I’m feeling great, feeling very good. But in saying that, [there’s] still a lot to learn, it was not enough.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Espargaro admitted earlier in the test he was finding it “stressful” not knowing the limits of the Honda's front-end. But although he now feels he has a better understanding of it for the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, the Spaniard concedes he needs more time to figure it out for all circuits.

“I need more laps,” he added.

“I can tell you I know where the limit is, but sometimes yes, sometimes no.

“It depends on the tyre, still I need to try different compounds in different race tracks to know which is the performance of the medium, which is the performance of the hard, which compounds are good for me.

PLUS: Why Espargaro faces Marquez with no fear at Honda

“I mean it’s such a complex situation on the front of all the MotoGP bikes, not just the Honda; together with Michelin it’s super-tricky.

“It’s a matter of time and experience, and at the moment I think I have more or less the situation under control here in Qatar.

“It doesn’t mean in the race weekend I don’t crash three times, it can happen. But at the moment I feel more or less I control the situation.”

shares
comments
What Marquez will we get on his much-needed MotoGP return?

Previous article

What Marquez will we get on his much-needed MotoGP return?

Next article

Rossi: Atmosphere within new SRT MotoGP team “beautiful”

Rossi: Atmosphere within new SRT MotoGP team “beautiful”
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Pol Espargaro
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021