MotoGP
28 Mar
Event finished
04 Apr
Event finished
R
Spanish GP
02 May
Race in
18 days
R
French GP
16 May
Race in
32 days
R
Italian GP
30 May
Race in
46 days
R
Catalan GP
06 Jun
Race in
53 days
R
German GP
20 Jun
Race in
67 days
R
Dutch GP
27 Jun
Race in
74 days
R
Finnish GP
11 Jul
Race in
88 days
R
Austrian GP
15 Aug
Race in
123 days
R
British GP
29 Aug
Race in
137 days
R
Aragon GP
12 Sep
Race in
151 days
R
San Marino GP
19 Sep
Race in
158 days
R
Japanese GP
03 Oct
Race in
172 days
R
Thailand GP
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
Australian GP
24 Oct
Race in
192 days
R
Malaysian GP
31 Oct
Race in
200 days
R
Valencia GP
14 Nov
Race in
214 days

Espargaro "cannot give advice" to Zarco on KTM transition

Pol Espargaro says he "cannot give advice" to MotoGP teammate Johann Zarco about how to best handle his tricky transition to life as a KTM rider.

Espargaro "cannot give advice" to Zarco on KTM transition

Zarco, who made the move to KTM from Tech 3 Yamaha, has endured a tough first two races aboard the RC16 bike, finishing 15th in both Qatar and Argentina.

The Frenchman admitted after the Termas de Rio Hondo race last month that "everything I do is not working" and that his struggles with his new machinery left him feeling "exhausted".

KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer said during the Qatar weekend that the Austrian manufacturer's star signing has taken longer than expected to get up to speed, with Espargaro having so far scored 10 points this year to Zarco's two.

Espargaro believes Zarco needs to learn to take such comments on the chin - pointing out the barbs that Beirer aimed and both him and then-teammate Bradley Smith in previous years.

"This is a factory team, it comes with good salary, good bike, good attention but also big expectations," said Espargaro. "A rider who is here needs to handle everything.

"I know Johann is a very good rider, is talented, he is calmer than me, so I cannot give him any advice because I think he is gonna handle it better than me.

"Pit [criticised] me and Bradley last year and is doing [the same] with Johann, but what Pit is saying is to try and make us better. We need to take it in that direction, not in another way."

He added: "For sure Johann needs time to get adapted to the bike and I am sure he is really fast.

"He did the pole in Qatar last year and he's been in the podium last year here [in Argentina] so we cannot say that Johann is not a good rider. We all need to remember that Johann's been at the top of the level in MotoGP. He needs time, he will arrive."

Espargaro however stopped short of saying Zarco's task to adapt to the KTM is a taller order than his own job developing the KTM from scratch in 2017.

"You cannot believe, comparing the bike now to how it was the bike in Qatar the first year," he said.

"This bike was coming from a white paper, nothing was made on this bike and we needed to develop a bike from zero and this was so hard.

"A lot of crashes that I had, I'm not saying it was because of the bike but it was because I need to go so on the limit that sometimes it happens.

"For sure Johann now gets a much better bike than what we had in the beginning [of the project], but for sure it's not good enough for his level and not good enough to be on the positions he was in the past."

Espargaro remains convinced that it's only a matter of time before KTM is able to fight for top positions, having been boosted by his 10th-place finish in Argentina.

"We are in this team from the beginning, knowing that the bike was new and knowing that we had to work a lot to be in the top, but we are doing it," he continued.

"And if you check the papers we are much closer than in Qatar first race [2017]; if we continue in this line we're gonna be soon at the top."

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Bautista: I'd only return to MotoGP on factory bike

Previous article

Bautista: I'd only return to MotoGP on factory bike

Next article

Lamborghini named Pramac's title sponsor for Austin MotoGP race

Lamborghini named Pramac's title sponsor for Austin MotoGP race
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco , Pol Espargaro
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author Jamie Klein
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021
Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought? Prime

Can leaving a factory team end Rossi’s MotoGP win drought?

It is over three-and-a-half years since the Italian national anthem rang out to declare a Valentino Rossi victory in MotoGP. To some onlookers his move out of the factory Yamaha squad meant the 2017 Dutch TT could remain his final win, but after an encouraging transition at Petronas SRT hope is far from lost

MotoGP
Mar 19, 2021