Espargaro was "completed cooked" in Jerez heat

KTM MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro says he was "completely cooked" in the sweltering Jerez heat during the Andalusian Grand Prix, which he described as “the toughest race of my life”.

Espargaro was "completed cooked" in Jerez heat

Temperatures for Sunday’s second round of the 2020 campaign touched 40 degrees Celsius, with the 60 degree track temperature making circuit conditions tricky as only 13 of the 21 runners finished.

Espargaro had to fight through from 12th on the grid after a crash in qualifying, but a mistake on lap one at the last corner meant he got stuck behind the Ducati of Danilo Petrucci and his brother Aleix on the Aprilia. 

The KTM rider says he drained himself after just a handful of laps behind them due to the “amazing” heat from the bikes ahead.

Read Also:

After crossing the line in seventh, Espargaro said: “At the beginning of the race I was not too far from the top guys; actually, I was seeing them very close. 

“But then I did a mistake trying to pass Petrucci, and Zarco and my brother overtook me. I was fighting with them for like four, five, six laps, trying to overtake them and I [drained] myself completely just by being behind my brother.

“I had an amazing heat around me and I couldn’t really manage and I had a feeling in the middle of the race that the heat was beating me. 

“I saw [Andrea] Dovizioso [in sixth] was too far ahead, and a good gap between me and Alex [Marquez, behind], and I was managing to finish the race in the 1m37s.

“Also, there were many crashes around me: my brother crashed in front of me, also Petrucci. So I felt it was better to finish and take the points in this short championship. 

"But definitely, it was the toughest race of my life for sure. I’ve actually never felt something so bad and something so hot as this race.

“I never felt this, in Malaysia or Thailand, the hands burning like here, never in my life. The first race [in Jerez] I could manage, this race after 14 laps [of 25] I was completely cooked."

Espargaro felt after Friday’s running that he could have fought for something “great” in the Andalusian GP, following a strong Spanish GP at Jerez, but admitted that he “paid” in the race for his mistake in qualifying that left him on the fourth row.

“I spent the first lap just fighting with guys that we should not be fighting with in the beginning of the race, and then we lost, I think, five, six seconds in just the first five, six laps,” he added.

“In these conditions, when a factory bike takes six seconds [out of you] at the beginning, how do you recover it? And fighting, you waste yourself a little bit more than normal, but it was my fault. My fault was starting [on Saturday].

“I did a big mistake [on Saturday] and we paid today [in the race].”

Espargaro was the sole KTM rider at the finish, after teammate Brad Binder crashed out at Turn 13 on lap 13, while Tech 3’s Iker Lecuona also dropped out. 

At the start, Binder collided with Tech 3's other rider Miguel Oliveira after being forced to sit up by Petrucci – though the latter disagreed with this point of view and felt the South African was “too optimistic” into the corner.

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: KTM Images

shares
comments
The tyre trick that helped Yamaha dominate at Jerez

Previous article

The tyre trick that helped Yamaha dominate at Jerez

Next article

Silverstone would be "disappointed" to lose MotoGP race

Silverstone would be "disappointed" to lose MotoGP race
Load comments
How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches Prime

How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches

Forming a ladder all the way from Red Bull Rookies Cup to MotoGP, KTM has created a steady stream of top talents in grand prix racing delivering the Austrian marque with the success expected of the brand. Here's how it has gone about it.

MotoGP
Jul 28, 2021
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021