At Silverstone, this last weekend, the Aprilia rider went through opposite states of mind. On Saturday, until the tremendous fall he suffered during the fourth free trial, he was one of the main favorites to take the victory on Sunday, due to the pace and speed exhibited.
The fall – “I thought my ankles had exploded” – completely changed those expectations, and the pain caused me to have to run in a more defensive attitude. Despite this, Espargaró finished ninth, just behind Fabio Quartararo, over whom he only lost one point in the general table, in which he is 22 behind the Frenchman.
The victory of the Spaniard in Great Britain was as remarkable as the Quartararo contest was discreet, given that a year earlier he won an incontestable victory, in a scenario that, on paper, suits his Yamaha like a glove. This contrast in just one year leads Espargaró to think that the brawl for the World Championship is still very open, and even more so if Pecco Bagnaia, winner at Silverstone and who has already accumulated four victories, is capable of reducing the 49 points that separate him from Devil.
“Silverstone was a very easy track for Fabio, who last year won with a margin of five seconds, and this time he finished eighth. I don’t really understand what happened to him, and I don’t understand why he won a Ducati either,” reflects the youngest the brothers from Granollers (Barcelona), who after Saturday’s accident drag a small fracture in the heel of his right foot, which will not require surgery.
“The pressure is on Fabio, who is the leader and whom we are all chasing. This World Cup is going to be long; the Ducati are getting closer. From here to Valencia things are going to happen,” guesses the Catalan rider, who has less than a disadvantaged grand prize with respect to #20, when there are still eight more to be held.
According to the Aprilia rider, he has a margin and so does Bagnaia, who has taken a run – two consecutive wins – and who will be presented in Austria in less than two weeks, a track that seems tailor-made for the power of the Ducati.
“The arrival of Pecco is very positive for us, because he wants to win races and he looks at Fabio, who has the most to lose. I have nothing to lose, so the arrival of Bagnaia is very good for me to win the World Cup”, concludes #41.