Pol Espargaro: Not knowing limit of Honda is "stressful"

Pol Espargaro admits it is “so stressful” not knowing the limits of the Honda MotoGP bike following the second day of pre-season testing in Qatar

Pol Espargaro: Not knowing limit of Honda is "stressful"

The six-time MotoGP podium finisher made his debut on the RC213V on Saturday in Qatar, and made a lap time improvement of 1.2 seconds on Sunday to 12th with a 1m54.673s.

Espargaro noted on Saturday that both the KTM he rode for four years and the Honda are similar in terms handling – but felt they were “too different” to directly compare – and this has meant he hasn’t had to totally readapt his riding style to the RC213V. However, he admits he still has “many things” to learn about the Honda and says the fact he hasn’t crashed yet shows the margin to improve is there.

Read Also:

“As I said before, to adapt to the electronics is difficult, but also to change maps while you are stressed on the bike [is difficult] because now I’m riding quite stressed on the bike,” he said. “I don’t know the limits on the bike. Today I was seven tenths off the first [Fabio Quartararo on the factory Yamaha], but I don’t know if the bike is going to launch me when I’m entering three, four, five km/h faster in a corner. That’s so stressful.

“At the moment I didn’t crash, which shows the margin [to improve] is high.

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

“But if you want to hear how the electronics work, changing the maps, the fuelling etc, there is many, many things that I need to learn – even the launch control with all the [holeshot] devices. And the stupid things like hitting the pit limiter, putting the neutral, these kind of things.

“There’s many, many things on a new bike I need to adapt to.”

Honda counterpart Alex Marquez at LCR suffered another bruising day in Qatar after registering two crashes. Marquez ended Sunday just over two tenths down on Espargaro in 14th after his run plans were compromised by his spills.

“I had two crashes today, on just starting [the day],” he explained, having already suffered a heavy fall on Saturday. “I was trying a different front tyre and I did a really small mistake. But this stopped us a little bit to do the work that we had with different bikes.

“[It] was a little bit difficult in that point because it was a small crash but the bike took a little while to repair. The last one was again with that bike, with used tyres before putting on new tyre to make a small time attack.

“But I did the typical mistake here at Turn 2, so luckily was not that really much damage again. I did two mistakes, which is something I need to improve.”

Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda crashed bike

Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda crashed bike

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda has all four of its riders on different test programmes in Qatar, with Marquez focusing on a new chassis today – though he didn’t feel it offered any particular gains.

“The main this is that we are trying all four riders different things at different times to arrive in the same direction in the end,” he added. “We were more focused today on chassis side, trying to understand different things.

“It was not really positive but it’s good to know the way to follow.”

shares
comments

Related video

Vinales "surprised" by long-run pace on old Yamaha
Previous article

Vinales "surprised" by long-run pace on old Yamaha

Next article

Zarco feels more involved in Ducati MotoGP development now

Zarco feels more involved in Ducati MotoGP development now
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022