Pol Espargaró is counting down the days until he can put an end to his disappointing journey at HRC . The rider from Granollers landed in one of the worst times for Honda in its recent history, and he was unable to make an RC123V work in low hours.
It did not surprise anyone that he decided to join Tech3 and get back on a KTM , leaving his place in the official team to Joan Mir.
Since he announced his departure from the Japanese structure, Pol has not held his tongue when criticizing the team.
“I’ve been suffering since Qatar,” Pol lamented. ” Since then I haven’t received any progress. I’m just working on the set-up,” he described, frustrated.
“You can improve a bit with the set-up, but when everyone is so fast, you need new parts to improve. I didn’t get anything,” he added. And it’s also not a matter of HRC not sending updates, but only letting Takaaki Nakagami try them.
The return of Marc Márquez after his operation has made him once again the one who takes the lead in development work, and the factory has gone on to work almost exclusively for the one from Cervera. Honda decided to leave Espargaró and Alex Márquez out of the project , the two riders who will not continue with the brand in 2023.
A MotoGP season without new Honda parts
Nor is it Pol’s first experience as a factory driver. At KTM he led the development of a premature RC16, and continued to have the support of the team once he signed for Honda. The youngest of the Espargarós was unable to understand Honda’s reasons for following such a restrictive policy .
“Two years ago the situation was very different. Even if you look at how Jack [Miller] ends the season at Ducati, they give him the best parts until the end, and he continues with the full support of the factory,” he compared.
“Marc uses a different swingarm, chassis and aero package than I do,” Espargaro said. “He has a completely different style of driving. Marc is Marc. He is always fast,” he warned.
“Even in normal conditions, with the same package, it’s hard to compare yourself to Marc. Now we have a completely different picture. I don’t want to complain, but that’s the reality.”
“He is used to riding with the rear end loose. He has adapted very well. I have to adapt to these problems. My driving style is very different from the Honda style,” he reflected.
Honda relies exclusively on Márquez for MotoGP
“It’s very difficult to check the data and compare what you’re doing. It’s impossible. I can’t check anything,” he complained.
That’s why Espargaró questions Honda’s approach : “I think you have to try something with the two riders. That way you have different points of view. If the new rider has the same problems as me, then he will know how to improve.”
“But with that plan only Marc will be fast, and the rest of the drivers will not,” he said convinced. Newcomers Mir and Alex Rins will only have six days of testing to familiarize themselves with their new mount.
“I’m looking forward to the end of the season. I try to do my best to be as professional as possible. In the end, that’s my job. It’s sad, but it is what it is.”
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