Pol Espargaró: "With Honda I Always had the same problem, which i, fortunately, could not turn off"
After two disappointing years with Honda, Pol Espargaro returned to his beloved KTM for the Valencia test – the Spaniard felt right at home.
Despite what has been arguably the toughest MotoGP season of his career for the Spaniard, Espargaró comes to the GasGas team with a huge amount of motivation.
Pol Espargaro during the Valencia test – Image provided by Motorsport Images
“I’m enjoying this job, even though things haven’t gone as I had imagined over the last two years. But there’s always that glimpse of hope that things will turn out for the better,” explains the Spaniard.
The Honda riders are not to blame for the debacle, Espargaró hints. “In a way, the riders’ hands are tied. Honda has a certain way of working, and you can’t influence that.”
It must also be said that not everything went wrong during his time at Honda. “There were training sessions where I was competitive. Obviously, it’s not so much the bad results as the crashes that undermine your motivation, because you know they can happen all of a sudden when you’re trying to push.”
Honda’s sudden-crashes demon was following Espargaró at the season finale in Valencia as well. A somewhat fitting end to a relationship that simply wasn’t a good fit.
The Spaniard is all the more excited to be back on a KTM next year, especially after Brad Binder’s magnificent performance in the season finale.
“It was spectacular, unbelievable. The team anticipated some changes this weekend that were actually meant for next year,” gushed Espargaró.
“They preferred to try them out right away because they didn’t want to wait that long. And as you can see, it worked.”
For the Spaniard it is a sign of further development at the Austrians, which he could not see too clearly in Honda’s project.
Brad Binder on the 2023 KTM prototype during the Valencia test – Image provided by Motorsport Images
“With Honda I always had the same problem, which, fortunately, I could not turn off. I constantly have my foot on the rear brake. That is my riding style.” The biggest ray of hope for the former KTM factory rider is likely to be Brad Binder’s form.
“Brad has virtually the same riding style [as me]. It’s reassuring to see that Brad continues to be fast, with the same riding style that I had when I was at KTM. During the test it became clear that I was right in my hopes.”
Visually excited and constantly smiling, Espargaró ended the one-day test in Valencia on P16. Keeping in mind KTM will deliver more development for the February tests in Sepang, Espargaró could be on his way to become a big surprise for 2023.