Pol Espargaró (Honda): «Expectations are high»

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Pol Espargaró (30) looks back on his teething problems in his first MotoGP season for the Repsol Honda Team and expresses his expectations for 2022.

Honda unveiled HRC’s entire motorsport program for 2022 in Tokyo on Friday. Only Takaaki Nakagami from the MotoGP riders was there, his brand colleagues later joined Zoom for the obligatory press round. Pol Espargaró looked back on his first season in Repsol Honda colors (12th place in the World Championship, a podium and a pole position).

“We didn’t start last season the way we should or wanted,” admitted Pol Espargaró. “In the end, however, you have to take things as they come. We worked hard and tried to improve the situation – that goes for all of us, not just me, but also the customer team and the Repsol Honda team. It was tough without Marc. Without information, we had to find something to end the year properly. Towards the end I started to feel good – after the pole at Silverstone, where I almost made it to the podium, then the races at Misano … My confidence started to grow and everything got a lot better. ”

«I wanted to end the year with a great race in Valencia. With the results I achieved at the time, I had the chance to end up in the top 8 in the World Cup. That was my goal, but everything ended as it had started – in a bad way, ”said the 30-year-old Spaniard, referring to the serious fall in FP3 at the Valencia GP that forced him to refrain from starting the season finale.

The younger Espargaró is doing the current preparation for the season a little differently than in previous years. “I work hard and do different things to start this new year and this new project as a better driver,” he said. “I know that Honda is also working hard to provide us in Malaysia with the best possible package for the start of the 2022 season.”

What are Pol Espargaró’s expectations for his second season as a Honda works driver? “At the beginning of the previous year I didn’t know how to solve the problems, I was too new for this motorcycle, so my information was pretty weak,” he sent ahead. «I couldn’t find the right way, we tried different things and I knew it would take time – but we didn’t have the time. Having only five days of testing, like again before the start of the season, doesn’t make the situation any easier for a new addition to the team. It was tough, but it went very, very well towards the end. Therefore, the expectations for the coming season are high. “

“I don’t want to name a specific place, because if things don’t go well then it doesn’t help us. But we definitely have to pick up where we left off, and that means fighting for top positions. If we manage to do that at the beginning, we will end the year much better than last year », hopes the twelfth of the 2021 World Cup.

MotoGP World Championship final result 2021 (after 18 races):

1st quarter 278 points. 2. Bagnaia 252. 3. Mir 208. 4. Miller 181. 5. Zarco 173. 6. Binder 151. 7. Marc Márquez 142. 8. Aleix Espargaró 120. 9. Martin 111. 10. Viñales 106. 11.Bastianini 102. 12. Pol Espargaró 100. 13. Rins 99. 14. Oliveira 94. 15. Nakagami 76. 16. Alex Márquez 70. 17. Morbidelli 47. 18. Rossi 44. 19. Marini 41. 20. Lecuona 39. 21 Petrucci 37th 22nd Bradl 14th 23rd Pirro 12th 24th Dovizioso 12th 25th Pedrosa 6th 26th Savadori 4th 27th Rabat 1st

Constructors’ Championship:
1. Ducati 357 points. 2. Yamaha 309. 3. Suzuki 240. 4. Honda 214. 5. KTM 205. 6. Aprilia 121.

Team World Cup:
1. Ducati Lenovo 433 points. 2. Monster Energy Yamaha 380. 3. Suzuki Ecstar 307. 4. Pramac Racing 288. 5. Repsol Honda 250. 6. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 245. 7. LCR Honda 146. 8. Esponsorama Racing 143. 9. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 135. 10. Petronas Yamaha SRT 96. 11. Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 76.

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