Pol Espargaró had a home Grand Prix to forget, crashing out in both Qualifying and the race.
Pol Espargaró still is struggling with the Honda, and once again crashed out during the race in Catalunya. The Repsol Honda team had to see how both his riders ended on the gravel in what was already a bad weekend for the team.
Honda could only manage a 11th place as its best result, and had to carry the weight of seeing both of their bikes going through Q1 on Saturday. Only Pol Espargaró managed to go through, just to start 12th after crashing during Q2.
Then, during the race, Espargaró was on the gravel again and had to retire. “I’ve been three years in Yamaha, four in KTM and this is my first year in Honda; I’ve been a World Champion, I raced here and I’ve won in Moto2 when I was fighting for the title. Of course, if there was a situation where there’s no pressure, it was today. I didn’t start with options to win the race, we didn’t have options to be on the podium even if we did a good race so pressure was not on us today and I didn’t crash for that”.
Working hard on a solution
The new RC213V is not being as good as expected, and that’s not only a complaint by a single rider. Even though Espargaró has just been with the team for 7 races, the adaptation to a new bike is not the reason for such a struggle. “I’ve been in this situation with KTM before, having a lot of problems and not the best bike. But we’ll solve the situation, we’ll find good solutions any time”, he said. “There are some parts we have to know how to handle but I’m sure we’ll do, the only question left is when, which is very important too”.
Even Honda’s Director Fumiya Kokubu visited the track this weekend ahead of the tests today, which is a guarantee for Pol Espargaró. “They listened, which is a lot. That is, to solve problems we have to understand them first and Kokubu-san coming here means Honda is willing to listen, to understand our problems, to recognize our problems and put a solution to them. This is a very important step already. This is not something we can solve for tomorrow, this is MotoGP. Everyone is working very hard so this is the first step. It’s clear we all have the same problem, said by all of us. From here we’ll start to build on it”.