It’s fair to say that Pol Espargaro’s time at Honda has been a mixture of on-track successes at best. Now part of his larger KTM family with GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, the Spaniard looks back on his time with the Japanese manufacturer and why he sees the move as a success despite many failures is clarified.
His two years with HRC had sporadic pleasures, including a pole position at Silverstone in 2021 and his first podium for the brand at the Emilia Romagna GP that same year.
There was also an impressive opening night in Qatar for the 2022 season, where he secured third place and happily shouted that he and Honda were once again competitors.
Unfortunately, it was a false dawn as both rider and bike struggled all season and this year No. 44 only managed to finish in the top 10 again. Although often frustrated in the paddock for obvious reasons, Espargaro does not regret moving to Honda.
Improvement is important
“Even from bad moments, you learn. It’s a process and you improve as a person, as a driver, and in your personal life. I grew a lot with Honda. It was hard at times. I met a lot of nice people and great engineers. This allows us to provide better information.”
“I am a better man than was two years ago when I left KTM. Every step in your career is important enough to understand where you can improve and if you can do it and improve – it is victory.”
It’s a mature approach to his one of the most difficult times in his career, and Espargaro is determined to make the experience even better as he embarks on new adventures in a more familiar environment.
“With the GASGAS brand, everything is in my comfort zone. Along with some good faces, I know from the past. Everything feels good to start the season, but it’s just getting started. we are on a long journey together.”
Be competitive from the start
“When you get on the bike, there is always the question of whether the bike has changed a lot since last time, or whether the way you think about the bike has changed a lot, but in the end, it is pretty much the same as when I left KTM. A few details and new devices have been implemented since I left, but everything feels very comfortable now.
Despite constant acclimation and a short testing window, the Catalan riders want to get used to things early in the season to avoid making mistakes.
“At the beginning, we have to be patient. It’s going to be a long season. I don’t want to make a reckless mistake at the beginning. It’s also true that we have very few test days. We only have five days before the opening.”
It’s not long until the first match. You have to make no mistakes and only do a few laps in the end. But you have to go as fast as possible. The race will be quick and we have a lot of races to do, so we have to be competitive from the start.”