Espargaro: Austria win was "more achievable" last week

Styrian Grand Prix poleman Pol Espargaro feels victory was “more achievable” in the first Red Bull Ring MotoGP race as the field has tightened for the second outing.

Espargaro: Austria win was "more achievable" last week

Espargaro led the Austrian GP before it was red-flagged and looked the strongest of the lead group, but suffered with a lack of his preferred medium tyres for the restart before his afternoon ended in a collision with Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira.

The KTM rider has been quick all weekend at the Styrian GP, topping Friday on the combined times before claiming his maiden MotoGP pole by just 0.022 seconds.

While some riders fear Espargaro has the pace to check out in the race should he get the holeshot, Espargaro has cautioned that it will be “tough to win” on Sunday given the current competitive order.

"Last weekend I think we had more chance to win the race,” Espargaro said. “I think it was more achievable as we showed a good performance in race one [before the red flag].

“This weekend is slightly different. Suzuki has improved their performance during the whole weekend, both riders are in an amazing shape with a very good rhythm.

“For sure the Ducatis [too will be there] and here [Takaaki] Nakagami for sure is not going to make my life easy tomorrow.

“I think the pace is pretty similar [between] all of us. Maybe last weekend I had something else. But it’s going to be tough to win.

"Whatever happens, I want to cross the finish line and for sure if it’s possible fighting for the victory it will be amazing, but also a podium here at home for KTM for the first time would be something unbelievable.”

Read Also:

The 2020 season has been a banner year for KTM, with Brad Binder scoring its first win at Brno and Espargaro securing its first pole.

On his debut on the bike in Qatar in 2017, Espargaro was 2.8s off the pace, while team-mate Bradley Smith was 3.3s adrift on the back row of the grid.

Having been instrumental in KTM’s progress since then, Espargaro says his Styrian GP pole is “super-special”.

“For sure it’s super special for me,” he added. We’ve been four years [of] ups and downs. The first year’s bike was unbelievably difficult. We were three seconds [back] in qualifying [for our debut].

“I remember being the last ones on the grid in Qatar, we couldn’t even see the red lights at the race start. Everything was super-difficult. We were expecting to improve quite a lot, but the improvements came starting last year.” 

shares
comments
Styrian GP won’t be "survival" race for Quartararo
Previous article

Styrian GP won’t be "survival" race for Quartararo

Next article

Styria MotoGP: Oliveira makes last-turn pass to win thriller

Styria MotoGP: Oliveira makes last-turn pass to win thriller
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