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”
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022