SportMotoGPEspargaró: "No Honda engineer has ever asked me about...

Espargaró: "No Honda engineer has ever asked me about the KTM"

Tired of Lin Jarvis ‘ unfulfilled promises to take him to the official Yamaha team, Pol Espargaró decided in June 2016 to leave Tech3 and accept the challenge of signing for KTM, the Austrian brand that entered the MotoGP World Championship as a manufacturer in 2017.

For four years, the Spanish rider led the development of the RC16 , achieving the first podium for the Mattinghofen house in 2018, to which he added five more in 2020, when his signing for Honda had already been completed.

One imagines that after hiring a rider who has led the development of a bike from scratch to turn it into a machine capable of winning in the top category, as Pol did, the amount of information he has can be valuable to any rival brand , but it doesn’t seem to be the case for HRC.

During an exclusive interview, Motorsport.com had the opportunity to ask Pol Espargaró if the HRC engineers had been interested in the ‘secrets’ of KTM, especially after the successful 2020 season, in which the first victories came for the orange bikes in MotoGP .

“No, the truth is that never, and it is something that has sometimes surprised me,” acknowledged Pol.

“But Honda has a very clear line of work and they don’t pay too much attention to what the others do, they don’t care very much,” adds the Catalan.

“Honda really believes in their potential and I see it as normal, they have brutal muscle, enormous strength and they have incredible technology, which the others don’t have. The only thing they want at Honda is to make a motorcycle their way and for it to work, without copying the rest”, analyzes #44 .

In any case, it is surprising that they sign a rider who has developed a motorcycle from scratch and do not ask him anything.

“Obviously there are details, I am the first to explain things that have gone well for me in the past, either at KTM or in my time with Yamaha (2014-2016), and that can contribute something to the team. But all the experience that I bring behind my back is not something that (Honda) cares too much about. They rely more on my riding and what I need to go fast, and they draw their own conclusions. Their work is based more on that information than on what I can tell you about other factories”.

Pol has led the KTM project since 2017, counting on the invaluable help of test rider Dani Pedrosa from 2019, achieving in 2020 the Austrian brand’s best year since arriving in MotoGP.

However, in 2021 and coinciding with Espargaró’s departure, the development of the RC16 seems to have slowed down.

“I don’t agree,” Pol interrupts. “They have gone very well this year, very, very much,” he stresses.

“It is true that they have not been as regular as I was in 2019, but they have had podiums, victories and I don’t think they are missing me, honestly. They have two fast drivers (Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder) and next year two very fast youngsters (Raúl Fernández and Remy Gardner). I don’t think my absence has been a problem for them, they have achieved very good results in 2021”, settles the man from Granollers .

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

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Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing, Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, MiniGP

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Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing, Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing, Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

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Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Pol Espargaro

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Podio: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

Podio: ganador Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

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Podium: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, third place Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

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Podium: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, third place Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

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Podium: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, third place Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

Podio: ganador Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, tercer lugar Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

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Podio: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

Podio: ganador Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

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Podio: second place Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

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Podio: second place Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

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Podio: second place Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Podio: segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podium: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, third place Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

Podio: ganador Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team, tercer lugar Enea Bastianini, Esponsorama Racing

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Podio: winner Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

Podio: ganador Marc Márquez, Repsol Honda Team, segundo lugar Pol Espargaró, Repsol Honda Team

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Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Pol Espargaro

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Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

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